by John Grones | January 3, 2006
Reflecting back on this past holiday season and all the
acts of kindness that took place, it re-minds me of the reason I live here. The
story about John Dufresne and his mother Joyce “Blessings north of McGregor,”
December 27, 2005) was a special one and it is just one of the many blessings
that occur on a daily, weekly and, for sure, a monthly basis in our area. Many
of those blessings we never hear about and for good reason.
It just so happens that I stumbled across another story
of giving during the holiday season by accident, and because the givers in this
case would like to remain anonymous, I will respect their wishes.
The family receiving the gifts on the other hand, agreed
to share their story.
It was the day before the elementary Christmas Concert
and two young girls, Kaitlyn and Hailey, received unexpected visitors shortly
after they got off the school bus. The men were carrying gifts – toys, socks,
gloves, scarves, candy, cookies, apples and a whole turkey. They also had two
presents marked, ‘open now’.
The girls waited in anxious anticipation for their mother
to get home from work. About an hour later, Jaymie, the girls’ mother arrived
home and walked in the door to two very excited children.
“They showed me the two gifts that said ‘Open now’,” said
Jaymie. “The two packages contained outfits for the girls that they could wear
to the Christmas program. Then they saved the best for last,” she added. “They
brought out the turkey and said, ‘Mom, we even got a whole turkey!’”
At this point, Jaymie, noticed all the other presents and
food items. She admitted that it had been a very difficult year for her and the
gifts were a tremendous blessing this Christmas.
It is at times like this that I am reminded of the New
Testament passage Matthew 6: 1-4, titled, Giving to the Needy – Jesus explained
to the disciples, “Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before
men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in
heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the
hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I
tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give
to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so
that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in
secret, will reward you.”
The message here is quite clear – when the giving is done
for other people to see, the reward for that gift is that attention. Yes, we
are encouraged to give. But, we shouldn’t give to be recognized as someone who
gives, but because we want to, or better yet, because GOD told us to.
Looking back at the gift that John Dufresne received, it
was not about the attention the Minnewawa Sportsmen’s Club would receive, but
it was about people that cared about John and Joyce’s situation. It was about
the smiles, the wows, the spirit of the gift and the impact it had on the one
receiving it. This was plenty easy to observe, because I was with John when he
received his gift – a new three-wheel bike.
Now reflecting on the gifts received by Jaymie, Kaitlyn
and Hailey, I see the same thing. I didn’t actually see those happy faces, but
I could clearly visualize the moment. I am also confident that I know the
hearts of the two men who brought the gifts; they gave for the right reasons.
Jaymie concluded by sharing with me that she was stunned
when she first discovered the new treasures and really didn’t know what to
think about it. “To be honest, it put me in tears.”
This article first appeared in the in January 3 issue of
the Voyageur Press.