She stood outside of the store manning her red Salvation Army bucket on a cold overcast day. The weather reflected the mood I was in. I was feeling discouraged and generally down on the world and on human nature in general. She smiled at me, a big warm smile, and told me my purple was beautiful, and that she had something to give me on my way out. I did my best to smile back at her, "ok" I told her. And walked on into the store. I was supposed to give her something on the way out, not the other way around. Right?
I completed my transaction, and left. Sure enough, there she was waiting for me as I walked out. "Wait!" She told me. She handed me a soft purple scarf. It smelled like her perfume. I hugged it to my chest and said thanks. She smiled at me again, and said "God told me to give that to you."
I hugged the scarf to my chest again and started to cry right there on the curb. "You have no idea what this means to me!" She hugged me. I hugged her back. Her name was Nadine. "Yes, I know" she said. "When God speaks to me I listen"
I walked away from that store, feeling like a load had been lifted off my heart. I couldn't stop smiling. This is what Christmas is all about. This is what happens when you listen to God's voice.
As you go about this season doing your shopping, cooking, and checking off your list of "to do's" don't forget what it's truly all about. "Peace on earth good will to men" doesn't truly ring clearly unless we are listening for God's voice, and not just listening, but hearing and doing.
What will be your purple scarf this Christmas season? And who will you give it to?