STRAIGHTEN THE PATH
It's a fact of life that a great deal of inequity exists in our world. There's a lot of pain and a lot of suffering. We're sometimes pretty good at looking the other way 11 months out of the year, but there's something about the Christmas season that calls our attention to many of these situations. It's easier to be generous during the Christmas season, simply because the opportunity for generosity presents itself much more frequently during the month of December.
I want to encourage you to take advantage of as many opportunities for generosity as possible. No doubt within your circle of influence there are people for whom the road is currently crooked and rough. We are called to make the curved roads straight and the rough places smooth. “Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall be come straight, the rough ways smooth.” (Luke 3:5)
A father told me recently that the two words he would use to describe Christmas are panic and guilt. He said Christmas is panic because he doesn't know how he can provide a good Christmas for his children; the money just isn't there. He said Christmas is also guilt because he wants to provide better for his family, but he just doesn't measure up. You can talk all day to this guy about how he shouldn't feel that way and how Christmas is more than just presents under the tree and on and on and on, but the truth is that Christmas doesn't look very bright for his family this year. And the truth is we all know a family or two in this situation. And the truth is most of us are in a position to help, at least a little bit.
As you look around you, you can see a lot of people who are traveling rough and curved roads. I'm not just talking financially. There are people you know whose road is rough because they're lonelier than they've ever been before. Their road is rough because they've experienced the failure of a relationship, or the death of a spouse, and this Christmas will find them "celebrating" the holiday all alone. You know what? You can make that road smooth for them. You can straighten that path out for them.
Every one of us knows someone who is hurting. There is someone who needs to be reminded of God's love and of God's mercy, and of God's compassion. There is someone who needs to be shown tenderness; someone who needs to be given a reason to hang on to hope just a little while longer. You can be that one. Look for the chance to set something straight this Christmas.