God has entrusted the Church to keep the soul of childhood alive, to safeguard our candor and freshness… Joy is the gift of the Church, whatever joy is possible for this sad world to share… What would it profit you even to create life itself, when you have lost all sense of what life really is? —Georges Bernanos, The Diary of a Country Priest
Sunday is NWLife’s annual Toy Give. Over 500 presents will be wrapped, labeled, and stacked. Hundreds of kids in our community will receive a gift at the party… and there will be prizes, a dancing panda, food, pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and a few surprises too. It’s one of those events that makes your face hurt because you smile so much.
The Toy Give is a lot of work and we put out the call for “all hands on deck.”
We give and serve in various capacities—and at the end of the night we are all janitors… stacking chairs, vacuuming floors, taking out the trash, cleaning bathrooms, etc.
It’s one of those times when you think you’re being the blessing and then you realize it’s the other way around.
The children, and their families, (who many, if not most, are facing financial hardship this Christmas) are the blessing. They are the true gift.
Rich Villodas recently tweeted: “You aren’t doing the church a favor by volunteering in kids ministry. The church is doing you a favor because kids are a source of joy that God uses to form our hearts.”
I like that perspective.
And I can’t wait to get blessed at the Toy Give this weekend.