Ave Maria Cosgriff Hurley.Merry Christmas to all who have breath, but particularly to those in places of devastation, where even the smallest kindness or donation is so greatly appreciated and so desperately needed in order to continue providing for the needs of those facing such drastic changes in their lives.
God bless those who are in such situations or environments that so desperately need to receive every gift large or small, that is helping to rebuild their lives shattered by the storms such as the recent typhoon in the Philippines, also to those still struggling in Haiti , Japan, the Midwest USA , in Chile and other places around the world where people have been left homeless, without shelter or possessions or jobs, many who have also lost loved ones or have been left permanently disabled by accidents, acts of nature, illnesses and so much more…
Let us never become apathetic or unsympathetic~!It could happen tomorrow, it can happen to you! Do for others what you wish one day someone would do for you should you ever need it. Pay it forward~!
For many the holidays are bittersweet and for others every day of their lives is bittersweet as they continue to struggle and find it so hard to set aside even this one day of global celebration in honor of the birth of our savior for some and a day of family and gift giving for others even those devoid of religious convictions.
Its a hard time for so many but every day is a new beginning, a seed of new hope sprouting, for those so less fortunate than ourselves in particular, having lost everything including loved ones, having felt unimaginable pain and or loss or to be forgotten, who remain so desperate and overwhelmed, may the peace of Christmas associated with the birth of Christ, fill you each with hope and strength to rebuild your lives and send the help you so greatly need.
For those of us who are more fortunate where our needs are mixed with our wants, who have not suffered such loss and our worst situation may only be an inconvenience not related to survival but to comfort, not take our lives for granted and remember to be grateful and thankful to our Lord and to those who have crossed our paths to bless our lives and make it better.
May our Lord continue to put upon the hearts of those of us who have not been affected by these storms and other dire situations, be of a generous mind to reach out and continue to help those struggling, who are living in poverty or squalor day by day, even to the forgotten homeless, whose masses have increased over recent years, so much that many have hardened their hearts and just turn a blind eye towards them and pass them by.
Don’t pass them by! Reach out with a kind word or deed or a little money. Remember if you can to pay it forward as you never know that one day you can be in such a situation!
May all of us who have not suffered such a loss this season, give thanks to almighty God for His blessings, mercy and grace for sparing us such grief. Let us be truly grateful for our families, homes, provisions, communities, jobs and our abundance.
Let us use our ability to share with those who have suffered loss at any level, who are depressed and or homeless , who have lost loved ones due to illness, trauma or disasters, whether as enormous as the typhoon or tornadoes in the Midwest, the earthquakes and tsunamis, the ongoing wars, the financial burdens on nations struggling to survive including our own great nation, to those in our own communities, who have lost a battle with an illness or who have lost their jobs and or homes. There is always someone out there that needs our help and we need to help them.
May God direct us and bless us to let us cross the paths with the homeless, to those who are lonely and depressed, to those who we can individually help.
May God impress upon us, to be able to donate to those organizations who are out there among those in need, volunteering their time, their strength, their resources and are able to be out there in those devastated areas of the world, working with those in such continual desperate need . Lord show us and enable us to reach out and pay it forward to help at least some one or family this holiday season !
May God impress upon our hearts to always reach out when we are enabled, as there are always those who have it worse than we do and we should be ever more so grateful for what we do have and should share what we can with those whose lives will be blessed by our smallest kindness!
What we might do with $10 for ourselves may be a lunch out somewhere but to those in regions so hard hit, that $10 can feed a family, provide needed medicines, food or sheltering necessities to keep just the rain off their heads! Any donation to organizations such as the Samaritan’s Purse [ and other faith based volunteer groups] can and do supply the manpower and resources, the helping hand these people need and we can each help to provide.
Any gift is multiplied and put to great use when collectively each of us who ‘have’ choose to pay it forward to reach out and touch someone’s lives we may never meet but can have the satisfaction of becoming a good Samaritan to a stranger in need while enjoying the quality of our lives whether we are poor or rich by our own national standards.
Whether or not we live in rented or owned homes, trailers or apartments, cities or towns or rural homes, rented rooms or even in shelters here in the USA, we have a roof over our heads, clean water to drink, more choices of food to eat, most medicines we would need, sufficient clothes to wear, transportation to places we need to go, so much that even the poorest in the USA have it better than most in other countries.
Regardless to politics, the economy and social climate changes, we are truly blessed to be born and raised and live in America and there is not one of us who doesn’t have something to share, whether it be a kind word of encouragement to the lonely or despondent, a donation to help even one person in need, time to share in lending a hand, or paying it forward to enable those who have the time and ability to be able to go out and help others who are suffering. The saying is true, its more blessed to be able to give than to receive~!! Its humbling to receive and often degrading as its a reminder of your need.
It’s better to be able to give as it reminds you of what you have and your ability to share to make someone else’s life a little less difficult and assure them that at least someone cares whether they live or die~!
While I am far from rich and have been in need myself at different times in my life, I have always been grateful to God and those He placed in my path to help me as then at later times I was able to see others in need and understood what they are going through, which makes helping them even more personal for me and makes me feel more compelled to help them~!
Having more than once lost everything, home job & health and living in shelters, it taught me how to be and what to do so that 25 years later I was enabled to be a shelter manager to help with re-homing victims of Hurricane Katrina and was able to train my staff to treat the victims with compassion and competence, to be their strength as they were depleted and devastated. It was an honor and a privilege to be able to reach out and help these people~!
It enriched my own life in being able to pay it forward.it has caused me to bypass the typlical red flags in life and take in homeless people to my own home at times, helping unwed mothers to prevent them from abortion or suicide, helping other families who have had fires or floods, dividing my own household goods up to give them away to families needing to start over after losing everything.
I have found that you cant out give God~! For as much as I have been able to give away, God has always supplied my needs. I have learned to separate my needs from my wants and have lived in survival mode for decades. I can relate to the stresses these people are now enduring and know how important it is to reach out in some way to help alleviate their suffering.
This Christmas, I sit here, in my own home, with my sons, decorated tree is up as a reminder, plenty food’s in the kitchen, my house is warm, electric is on, the water is running, internet is up. Snow cover outside – a white Christmas~! For us life is good Our needs are met, our battles/struggles have ceased for the moment, yet we are alone, so there is a twinge there to remind us of where we came from and hopefully where we are going.
We don’t ‘need’ presents under the tree, there are no small children here or coming. We have evolved to meet our own needs and give gifts randomly through out the year where a gift to us is usually a need being met and seldom a want.
We have received some lovely gifts through the mail from relatives and friends, which are a great reminder that we are loved and cared about. We appreciate that and have likewise had some token gifts sent out to some relatives and friends as well. We enjoy a ‘quiet’, peaceful holiday and continue to work at a more relaxed pace, no deadlines today
Still my thoughts, prayers and wishes are for those in the Philippines right now as well as for those in our military serving away from home and looking forward to the day they can be reunited with their loved ones.
I think of Bowe Bergdahl https://www.facebook.com/supportbowe still a POW after 4 years in Afghanistan and how he must feel being separated from his family all these years and what he must be enduring – so I pray for him and his family.
I think of my friend Manuel Cadag in the Phillippines and how he , his family and neighbors are struggling to get their lives back in order. I think of the victims of the tornadoes in the Midwest last month and how hard it is for all those still struggling after being in natural disasters.
Of these I think of, I pray for that God continues to provide relief and comfort and impress on those of us who have, to give some to them.
Merry Christmas to all and may God bless us all and help us in the years to come.
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