Before Dan left for a full day of volunteer work, he pulled the car out of the garage, and in its place, he parked Matilda (our affectionate name for the Jeep Wrangler). So when it was time for my morning appointment, Matilda would be warmer than if I had to tromp through the snow, lift the heavy shop door, and start her up.
I married a man whose middle name is thoughtfulness.
This is the man who wakes me up every morning with a steaming mug of cinnamon spice tea. This is the man who speaks appreciation for my cooking, who lets me purchase as many books as I want, who opens doors for me (not that I’m incapable of opening my own doors), the man who lets me hang onto his arm as we cross an icy parking lot — because if I went down, I wouldn’t go down alone.
Thoughtfulness sends a loud and clear message. It says, “I was thinking of you and how many hours you spent in the kitchen yesterday, so I emptied the dishwasher.”
Just as Dan does these thoughtful things with me in mind, God had us in mind when He came to earth as a baby in a manger.
The ancient prophet, Isaiah, spoke these words sometime between 701-681 BC:
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.Isaiah 7:14
Immanuel. It’s a Hebrew name that means “God with us” or “God is with us.”
Fast forward approximately 700 years. Joseph and Mary were betrothed to each other, but not yet living together as man and wife until the proper time.
Joseph learned that Mary was pregnant, and while he was considering what to do, an angel came to him in a dream, telling him that the baby conceived in her was by the Holy Spirit, and this child would grow to save the people from their sins:
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel.”Matthew 1:20-23
Immanuel. God with us.
Our Creator wants to be with us. He wants a close relationship with us, which is the most priceless gift of all time.
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.John 3:16
It’s that simple. Believing that Jesus is who He says He is, the Son of God; acknowledging the things that keep me separated from God and from fully living—like, my jealousy and fear and selfishness and pride, to name a few; and believing that Jesus took these sins upon Himself and died in my place so I could walk through this broken world with shalom wrapped around me and with the assurance of a home in heaven after I leave Planet Earth.
In her study book, Jesus & Women, Kristi McLelland explained how the garden of Eden was created in shalom, which means wholeness, harmony, flourishing, and delight.
The Lord doesn’t hate sin because we broke a rule, law, or instruction. The Lord hates sin because it disturbs our shalom. It disrupts our harmony, wholeness, flourishing, delight, and communion with God.Kristi McLelland
How thoughtful and kind of our Creator.
What if we could give the gift of thoughtfulness and kindness this Christmas season … and all the other seasons of the world?
Such a beautiful reminder of the heart of Christmas. Thank you for challenging us to enter this season with an attitude and mindset of kindness and thoughtfulness.
” … the heart of Christmas.” I like how you phrased that, Allison. I want always to carry the heart of Christmas with me. Year round.
Love all your post. Have a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year. Love,
Thank you for your kind words, Eileen. Christmas joy to you and yours!
Peter Howe B.E.M.
Even though my Barbara can’t communicate at all well… there are those precious moments when ‘what she is thinking’ comes our clearly. And though she can’t do very much for herself, at this time, when those precious words do come out, I cherish them. Those words can be, ‘Oh Pete’….’Take care my love’…. and the one we ALL WISH TO HEAR…’I love you’. So, you are right.. thoughtfulness means so much and matters. Thanks again, our love, God Bless, Bx P & family.
How lovely that Barbara, in her limited way, can express these thoughtful words to you. I would imagine your caregiving days are filled with dozens of opportunities for show and express kindness and thoughtfulness back to her. Blessings to you both.
Excellent message for the season.
Thank you, Marlys. Very kind of you.
Maryls, I always enjoy your writing and sharing the word of God. Have a very Merry Christmas!!
Thank you, Donna. Wishing you a wonderful Christmas!