Give Yourself to Others …

A Special Opportunity to Give to Others

Posted on: 2006/12/29

As you can see from the photo, I have a special gift. It hasn’t been the thorn in the flesh, that Paul complained about in his epistles, but it certainly has kept my attention and the attention of others as well.

This time of year, I keep a red stocking cap in my car, because I never know when I might need to become Santa.

This year, I was able to be Santa for the children of some US airmen, deployed from Andrews AFB. Digital pictures were printed “on the spot” and mailed to mothers and fathers in Iraq, Afghanistan and other places.

I rode around South Arlington, Virginia, on a fire engine from Arlington Co Fire Department, Station 5. We brought out kids, parents and grandparents from houses all over and put smiles on a lot of faces.

It feels great when you can wave to someone, yell “Merry Christmas” and they smile and wave back. We stopped at an ice skating rink and a bunch of folks took pictures with Santa. We stepped inside a bar, where Santa had his picture taken with a young woman about to move to Germany.

My favorite thing is to put on the suit and ride my motorcycle around Springfield Mall and other nearby shopping centers. Smiles, honks, waves — it makes me smile.

Christmas morning, I visited the post-partum floors of Inova Fairfax Hospital. A lot more photos with new moms and new babies. I got to hold a lot of new babies that morning. Someone on the nursing staff said thanks for coming by, but I got more out of it than the folks I visited.

When you look like I do (white beard and all) and you put on the suit, you always have to be ready to respond to the look of a child, or even the appreciation of an adult.

But, then again, when you’re a follower of Jesus, a follower of the command to love one another, then you always have to be prepared to give yourself to others, for their good, expecting nothing in return — just as Jesus did for us.

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