The Baby

December 6, 2020
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Isaiah 58:7 – Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter — when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? (NIV)

Matthew 25:40 – The King will reply, "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." (NIV)

Ade, my then two-year-old granddaughter ran up the ramp to the front entrance of the church. As she did so, she stopped and looked into the manger beside the doorway. Horror registered on her face at what she saw. "Oh, Grammy," she cried, "The baby is cold. It has snow on its head and face. The baby is cold," she repeated as she frantically worked to brush the snow from the doll's hair, face, and blanket. "So cold," she stated again. Looking at her earnest and compassionate face, I agreed with her that yes, the baby was cold and she needed to talk to the pastor about it, which she did.

The pastor kindly listened to her story, as did the rest of our little congregation. And as she told it, although her words could not convey this thought, her look said it all: "What's wrong with you people anyway, leaving a baby out in the cold?!"

After hearing about the cold baby, the pastor agreed that leaving the baby in the cold was not a good thing and proceeded to ask Ade if she would go out and bring the baby in, make it warm, and care for it during the service. It was also decided, so as to set a good example for a two-year-old in regards to caring for others, that the baby would stay inside, wrapped in its blankets for the rest of that Christmas season.

This incident brought to mind today's words from Isaiah and from Jesus concerning how we are to treat the poor, the homeless, the downtrodden, friends, neighbours, and especially our own family who may be going through a hard time: with giving compassion. It is not enough to just pray for those in need; we must also act, which is sometimes hard to do. We live in a day and age where people and groups are always asking us for money to help someone out. Because we are asked so often, while we ourselves are seeing the needy around us, without even realizing it, our hearts can become immune to the pleas and the needs. We assure ourselves that we could not help everybody all the time, or pretty soon, we would be in the same predicament ourselves.

Yet, I must ask myself, can I do more? I must remember to ask God for the wisdom to know how to do more. I must remember that I can never outgive God. I am called to be a generous giver. I must also ask the Lord to keep my heart from becoming immune to the many needs around me, so that I might not become hard-hearted and uncaring. Lastly, we must all pray that those around us never have cause to look at us and say by the expression on their face, "What's wrong with you people anyway?"

Prayer: Father God, thank You for the many opportunities around us daily to be cheerful and generous givers, to share our food with the hungry, to provide the poor wanderer with shelter, to clothe the homeless, and not to turn away from our own flesh and blood. Keep our hearts from becoming immune to the many in need whom we may be called upon and able to help. In Christ's name, we ask. Amen.


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About the author:

Lynne Phipps <lynnephipps@hotmail.com>
Atlin, British Columbia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you, Lynne. Great story!


    Another good one, Lynne. Enjoy the holiday season.


    This is a wonderful and impelling story, Lynne. Thank you for sharing it with us.
    Blessings.


    Thanks, Lynne, for this good challenge. I got a double good dose of your writing today. You’re also on Illustrator.


    Dear Lynne
    And a child shall lead us. Your granddaughter has got all of our attention, through your willingness to share the heartfelt plea of a little child.
    Thank you and God Bless.


    What a perfect devotional, Lynne. We do not have a manger scene at our church and if we did, it does not get very cold, but that story about your granddaughter will remain with me.
    Thank you. Merry Christmas to you and those you love.
    (Texas)


    Dear Lynne,
    Thank you for another beautiful devotion! The baby story is showing such compassion and then you use the illustration to challenge us once again. Thank you.
    We wish you a very merry Christmas with God’s richest blessings in the new year.


    Out of the mouths of babes… would that it were that simple! Toronto has an “out of the cold” program; while we cannot force people to change, there is definitely a lot more that we can do. My grampa said: if a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing well. But I heard some years later, if a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing, however inadequately. Yah. we can do more, even if we can’t do it all. Thanks for the story. A little child often is who God uses to lead us.


    Good morning Lynne,
    What a sweet devotional you have written today. While reading it, I could just imagine the concerned look on little Ade’s face as she saw that little doll laying in the cold and snowy manger. The sensitivity and understanding shown by little children can be quite surprising to us. Yes, we mustn’t become immune to the needs and situations of others and be willing, like the heart of Jesus, to reach out and help where needed.
    Blessings for these special devotionals you submit.
    (B.C.)


    Thank you, Lynne, for a touching and compassionate devotional.
    Keep writing.


    That child must be a treasure. So glad the pastor understood.
    And as always you made a meaningful spiritual connection.


    Thanks for sharing Lynne.
    Compassion for others is essential in our walk with God.
    Blessings.


    Dear Lynne,
    This is a touching, sensitive, and powerful devotion. Reminded us of our little g-granddaughter and it is a call to action in the Lord.


    Good morning Lynn,
    Good devotional. When I read it, I thought there are so many people who now leave Jesus “out in the cold.” They just don’t have room for Him in their lives.
    Thank you for writing and we wish you a Blessed Christmas.


    So beautiful to hear truth from mouths of babes!
    I was with my daughter when we passed a statue of Jesus. No one has cleaned it for long them. So neglected! She expressed horror that no one cared enough about reminder of our Lord. But she had nothing to clean it with except her mittens.
    I waited till she cleaned and was satisfied that there was some respect shown.
    My heart was warmed by her caring heart.
    Shalom.

 



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