Saturday, December 27, 2008

Love Dare On Christmas

Little did I know that when I read John 14 on Christmas morning for my devotions, and asked God to give me more of His love, that he would say “I dare you,” by having someone call me that morning and scream at me, “I have no where to go for Christmas!”

The problem was that my mom, who is 82 years old, was not welcoming this person into her home, since she had nine people already to feed, plus a handicapped lady who she considers to be emotionally dependent. She was afraid of this person also becoming emotionally dependent and wanting to join us every holiday ever after. I understand her point of view.

I knew that my friend, a person I know from a church I used to attend who is autistic, would not be welcome. Besides, I just wouldn’t enjoy having her over – she is unkempt and unlovely, wears dinosaur key chains dangling from her belt loops, and is out of place. I know it sounds bad. I was having a hard time loving her.

But the people from my old church were having an even harder time. I was calling them, including the senior pastor, a woman. It’s a small church, and Jan, the autistic lady, has been going to this church for about twenty years. You would think that by now they would have something in place for her on the holidays. She used to have a brother she could go to on the holidays, but he died. Other family members simply avoid her.

She had someone from the church volunteer to take her in on Christmas, but the last minute that lady said her back had gone out. This may have been a lie. So, the challenge was to find some place for her to go instead. So I was calling the church members to find someone to take her in for Christmas, and everyone said they were going to someone’s house and Jan wasn’t welcome.

They were all going off to enjoy their Christmas dinner, and were going to leave Jan alone, with no solution for her. I couldn’t believe it. The name of the church is “Lovepower!”

There was one man who has mental health issues who also didn’t have anywhere to go for Christmas. He had called one of the deacons who I called and so we were going to get him to take a bus to meet Jan but at the last minute he backed out.

Jan was still without anything. I so wanted to ask her over but I just knew it wouldn’t work with my family. And I didn’t want to go clear across town, pick her up, bring her out, then bring her back home and drive back home again in the cold of winter on the icy roads. It was selfish.

I finally went to her home, after having dinner with my family with containers of food that I put together for her. We watched” Ice Age The Meltdown” together - she loves animals , as autistic people often do, especially dinosaurs, and I stayed for about two hours. She was very grateful, - it pulled her through, even though it was very imperfect.

I’m going over today with a Christmas gift for her.

I’ve never been stretched so much as I was this Christmas. I spent so much more money than I ever have on gifts. I spent myself dry and then some. I have not money left. I went way beyond my means. But it feels good. My heart was broken for this person, Jan. Even though I was reluctant to give her my all, my heart is pleading to love more.


Helen said...

It had to be tough. You can't just invite someone to your mom's house without her okay no matter how much you may want to. You did your best. I am sure God can see that. He knows our best isn't going to be perfect. Only he is perfect. But your best was enough.

Sherri said...

SOunds like you came up with a perfect solution for Jan.

Sad situation, props to you for going the extra ALWAYS feels good because it's the right thing to do.

Gabrielle Eden said...

Yeh, I hope you two are right. It's just that if I had loved her enough, I would have convinced my mom that just this one Christmas with the family would not have created a dependency on us, and could have invited her over....but I didn't really want her over with my family. Maybe it was partly because I knew that my family wouldn't enjoy her, but it was a lot of my own lack of enjoyment.

Nevertheless, I do care about her and plan to get her church and family more involved in helping her on future holidays, if I can.