Give Yourself to Others …

Posts Tagged ‘children

When I plan to met someone at a public place, if they’ve never seen me before, I often tell them I bear a close resemblance to Santa Claus — mainly because of my mostly white hair and white beard … as my picture will attest.

And during the Christmas season, I enjoy filling in for the jolly old elf, in spite of myself.

But there is an interesting analogy between putting on my Santa Suit and labeling myself a Christian.

David as Santa Claus, with a little friend

When I put on my Santa suit, I have to always be prepared to represent Santa to children.  I can’t be Santa and be a grouch — or a jerk — or be impolite — or short-tempered.  I have to be willing to be Santa and everything that goes along with that “stereotype.”  If I’m not willing to do that I shouldn’t put on the suit.  When anyone sees me, they should say, There’s Santa!

And that’s the way it should be as a Christian, as well.  If I “put on Christ”, then when anyone sees me, they should say, That’s guy is a Christian.

There are a lot of implications that go along with that.  And I’m not saying it’s easy or simple.  I’m just saying there is a parallel.

Obviously, it’s easier to put on a suit to then look and act like Santa Claus.  One reason it’s easier is because I can take the Santa suit off and people don’t automatically think of me as Santa.

But then the remaining question for both you and me is this:  Do people think I do as good a job of representing Jesus, as they think I do representing Santa?  Shouldn’t they?

I think the answer to that should be, “yes.”

I’ve been considering things related to the suicide I wrote about last week. And I’ve learned a new more things about his circumstances.

A couple of things jump out.

First, it turns out (and probably not a surprise to people who know about these things) that he’d been planning his suicide for some time. Searching the internet for information on how to do it.

Second, no one realized what he was considering. Not his girlfriend. Not his parents. Not his family or friends.

At the funeral, his uncle pointed out how many people were there. He highlighted the fact that his nephew must have felt very alone, and perhaps, unloved or loved for the wrong reasons — whatever. But look how many people came — the fact was that lots of folks cared for and about him.

But apparently, he didn’t realize it. How sad.

My wife, Linda and I were reflecting back on the “dark days” of our youngest son. They lasted from the eighth grade thru college (with some relief for a couple of years in the middle of all that).

We remember how hard we had to work to make sure our son knew we loved him, no matter what.

Our story came out okay; not so for our friends. But no one could predict which way that might have worked out.

So, what’s the point?

Just a reminder to make sure that the people you love know it. Say it often. Demonstrate it often. Don’t put conditions on it.

And just when you think you’ve done that enough, do it some more.

That’s what Jesus meant, when he said “Love one another, the way I have loved you.”

Our friends would gladly give their lives for their son — but the chance to do that has passed.

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