Wednesday, December 5, 2012
What You Can Put In A Shoebox
This morning I am listening to wonderful Christmas music by Mannheim Steamroller, a long-time favorite of mine. While my Christmas spirit grows, I can report that I have at least half my Christmas shopping done.
My first gift completed was for the Shoebox program that many churches in our town participate in. In this program you choose to shop for a boy or girl within a specific age range. You fill a shoebox (or special shoebox-sized boxes that are supplied) with as many gifts as you can stuff in. The gifts are shipped to a central location, where they are distributed in many locations around the world and in the U.S. It is amazing how much can be crammed into a shoebox! The project recommends providing both practical and fun elements in the box. It is fun to shop for the shoebox, even though you don't know where it will go or who will receive it. I chose to shop for a girl in the 10-14 year age range. Here's what I managed to cram into one shoebox:
a tee shirt
four pairs of colorful socks
four pairs of cotton colorful panties
a package of ballpoint pens
a package of mechanical pencils
a package of colored pencils
a small soft-cover diary-sized blank book
a pad of unlined writing/drawing paper
a 2-pack of glue sticks
a sewing kit with needles and a variety of small spools of thread
a package of Juicy Fruit gum
a pack of candy of a type that doesn't melt
a small paperback copy of the Gospel of John
Churches in our smalll town packed 1,458 shoeboxes, exceeding the goal set at the beginning of the project! These gifts are a witness of the love of God, the birth of Christ, and Christian sharing wherever they go in the world. We will never know what effect these gifts of love will have. We trust that God will see them to the right recipient. We rejoice that we are able to be part of this great project. I am in awe of the people who conceived the idea, did the hard work of organizing it, collecting the gifts, and shipping and distributing them. It is a massive undertaking that I am sure grows each year.
God is not outmoded. Christ is still alive. Christian people are still doing what govenments can't. Unselfish love and caring still bloom in the human heart.
Christmas reminds us of this each year.