Little cracks of joy! One way of understanding these might be to think of them as everyday glimpses of God’s love or recognizing Jesus in someone’s act of kindness. To illustrate, I’d like to share something my niece, Judy Koci, in Chicagoland wrote recently. See if you don’t agree she experienced some small cracks of joy… and it happened in a grocery store, of all places.
I meet the most encouraging people at Aldi! I always have a HUGE cartful, and always look around to see if someone with a handful of groceries needs to go ahead of me. Not necessarily because I’m so nice. It takes off all that pressure and guilt of making people wait for me. Probably because of my ‘missionary kid’ background.
Anyway, recently, after letting a hurried business lady go ahead of me, I was shocked and moved to tears when she paid her bill, and turned and handed me a beautiful bouquet she had just purchased. “Thank you,” she said as she quickly left. It never would have occurred to me to repay a kindness like that!
Today, at Aldi again, I explained to the checker that it might take me longer to unload my cart since I’ve been dealing with vertigo. I noticed an older couple (ok, my age…) behind, and asked them to go ahead of me. As the lady put her things on the conveyor belt, her husband slipped behind me, and started unloading my stuff. Then as the wife finished up, she joined him in helping! Very humbling, and I was so grateful.
In the meantime, they had all my cartons waiting on the packing-up counter. They left, I paid my bill and started packing up, when suddenly they reappeared! “We finished loading the car, and wanted to help you pack your groceries.”
My own Christmas miracle! And it never occurred to me to give them anything but my fervent thanks.
And what am I giving my forever Christmas Miracle, Jesus, besides fervent thanks? Oh, I know He’s fine with just my gratitude, but am I giving a more tangible gift of appreciation for all He’s done? Not for Him. For me.
Here’s an idea to help your family’s members keep track of their little glimpses of God’s love. It doesn’t require much material or a whole lot of time. You could fit this into your holiday schedule without it being burdensome.
Have someone sketch a Christmas tree large enough to fill up a piece of poster board, or an erasable white board. Keep a pad of sticky notes nearby, large enough upon which to write a sentence or two, or draw an illustration. For the rest of December, set aside a time each day (or as often as possible) for everyone to gather around the drawing and let family members share cracks of joy that they received themselves or that they were able to open for someone else. Encourage everyone to think about their day and share with each other. Write each experience down on a sticky note in abbreviated form – a sentence or two, a phrase or a sketch and place the sticky note on the tree. How long will it take to completely decorate your tree?
Consider finishing these times of sharing with expressions of thanks to God for the light of His glory ‘shining in dark places.’ (2 Peter 1:19) You might dance or sing or give out hugs!