I have been feeling a bit Scrooge-ish lately and haven’t been able to put my finger on the problem until I found myself curb shopping in my neighbor’s trash last week. It’s excess y’all. We are a people who can put our excess to the curb without a thought…most of the time to make room for more. Tis the season of excess.
In stark contrast, I have observed a different kind of curb shopping taking place in Cambodia, my future home. I have seen a man hand-cutting a certain kind of grass in the front of businesses in order to feed his ox. I have seen an older woman pulling a cart, stopping at every trash heap looking for cardboard to sell. I have seen beggars sitting on curbs, and girls with baskets hoping someone will buy their boiled snails. My daughter observed a tiny girl, perhaps six, struggling with a buggy much bigger than her, going from house to house searching for cans to recycle. A daily struggle to survive for some.
Back here in Texas, I have a gorgeous tree, I have spent lots of money on gifts, I watch the holiday shows, I attend parties, I meet up with family, I eat scrumptious food…all in excess. I celebrate in a cheery little bubble that floats high above Bethlehem. Sometimes I glance down lovingly at the manger as I float through the holidays, but to be honest, I am trapped in cultural distractions that steal my focus. The cultural noise of excess drowns out His holy birth. I have put Jesus to the curb while making room for meaningless diversions. My Scrooge-ish mood feels a little like guilt.
So this year I will line up behind the wise men with my gift for the baby Jesus. I will bow before Him and ask Him to make me more like Him. To open my eyes to suffering. To warm my heart to the helpless. To cleanse my desire for material possessions and replace it with a desire to love Him more. To fill me. Then I will be ready to serve. I don’t have much to give, but I do have me.
+Closeup picture of my Christmas tree
++Picture of the treasure I found on the side of the road
+++Picture taken in Cambodia during the water festival
++++Picture taken of the Christmas decorations outside The Woodlands Pavilion. We were on our way to a concert by Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant.
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