Linda Ashe-Ford Giving Moment 10-12

heartWhat was your most Spirit filled time time at St Paul’s?

The first year we as a church decided to fill the wishes of teens in foster and kinship care it was my job to fill the Christmas tree in the vestibule of the church with tags representing the wishes of the teens we were trying to help.  That Christmas I didn’t really feel the Christmas spirit and while I had agreed to do the gift drive I was feeling down and didn’t feel like the season had much meaning for me.  I didn’t have the resources to give the kinds of gifts I wanted to give my family and everything around me just seemed too commercial. But on the Sunday that the drive started I went to church to make the announcement about the Giving Tree at the 8:00am service,  then I went home. When I came back for the second service I saw the tree and that is when the people of St Paul’s gave me one of the best gifts I have ever been given.  I walked in and saw the tree, that had been filled with gift tags at 8:00 am, was almost completely bare.  At first I thought that somehow the tree had been turned around and that the tags were hidden in the back.  But when I looked closer I saw what was for me a Christmas miracle.  The tags were not in the back! They were gone! I remember that I just stood there at the entrance of the nave and cried.  In that moment I found the spirit I had been missing, I had found the spirit of Christmas in the generosity of the people of St. Paul’s.  Christmas is not about what I can give alone but about the love and generosity that we can give to others when we all collectively work together.  This lesson in giving is a gift of the spirit that I will never forget.