Because of my dad’s death this past July, we had Cousins Camp the week leading up to Thanksgiving this year. During one of our fun meals around the table here at home, I decided to use the opportunity to get some Christmas ideas from the 10 grandchildren that were here, knowing that they could also chime in about ideas for the other two. The suggestions were pretty predictable, especially knowing their various personalities. Art materials, doll clothes and hairbows for the girls. Sports items and gift card requests for the boys, etc. A pretty normal, run-of-the-mill list until we came to Sam — actually Samuel Pearson Rodgers, age 5.
Sam’s suggestions were surprising — doll clothes, a purse, baby dolls, a Candy Land game, skates, etc. After each item he mentioned, he’d grin when we said, “No, surely not, Sam.” Maggie, Sam’s 9-year-old sister, finally figured out what was happening and shared her insight. “He’s not asking for things for himself. He’s naming what he’s heard his sisters and friends say. He wants us to give those things to him, SO HE CAN GIVE OTHERS WHAT THEY WANT.” Did you get that? He wanted gifts he could give away. I don’t know why that startled me so much. I know Sam is a very sensitive, intuitive little boy, but, doesn’t it go against the normal “bent” of a person to think of OTHERS first??
As I’ve made my way through store aisles and crowds in past weeks trying to fulfill as many desires as possible, Sam’s perspective has stayed with me. Don’t worry. Steve and I have found a couple of gifts that we think he’ll enjoy, but I believe if we had given him “something pink” or “something for a 2-year-old brother,” Sam would be perfectly content to turn around and give it to his brother or one of his sisters. Thank you, Sam, for this very timely reminder.
Hebrews 13:16 – “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”
Philippians 2:4 — “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interest of others.”
2 Corinthians 9:7b — “God loves a cheerful giver.”
Happy gift-giving and gift-receiving, everyone!