Three days before Christmas, we took the kids into the city of Philadelphia for the famous (or infamous) light show. As we walked through the city we came upon a carousel. Four-year old Peter was desperate for a ride after being underwhelmed by the show. The $3 cash ticket price multiplied by one Peter and two older sisters was more than my Millennial cash carry of $0 would allow. Cold and tired, Peter was devastated until 10-year old Annie reached into the purse she had brought for Christmas shopping and pulled out the few dollar bills and all the coins she had. After the kids got their ride, we continued on our walk and passed several homeless men and women asking for any loose change. As we passed one young lady, who couldn’t have been more than 20 years old, Annie seemed particularly disturbed. “Maybe I should’ve given my money to her?” I heard her ask her 7-year old sister Katie. “Maybe,” Katie replied, “But you gave all your money to make me and Peter happy. You gave a gift when it was needed.”
Amidst the pride for both my girls in that moment, I thought about Annie’s conundrum and the gifts that I share or don’t share in my leadership and why. Am I saving my gifts for the greater good that may lie ahead? Am I giving freely to the brother (or sister) in front of me now? Am I intentional about why I do either? Most importantly, however I give my gifts, am I seeing “the face of Jesus” in the recipient? Hopefully Santa brings me the same wisdom and care he seems to have brought my girls. Merry Christmas and blessings in 2018!