Giving away $50 gift cards

Yesterday Diane and I were blessed to be a part of something amazing.  It was seriously like being on a hidden camera television show.  Someone from our church decided they would like to buy gift cards and give them away at local grocery stores for Christmas.  But they didn’t want to hand them out, they allowed Diane and I and a couple of others to do it.  So we went to Martin’s in Cumberland and handed some out and then went to Save-A-Lot in downtown Cumberland and handed out more.  In total, we gave away $1,500 in gift cards, in the amount of $50 each.  We have some amazing stories.  It was especially touching at the downtown Save-A-Lot.  We knew from shopping there a lot ourselves, that there would be a bunch of grateful people for whom the cards would make a big difference.

The person who provided the money wanted to glorify Jesus.  As we handed out the cards, we wanted to glorify Jesus.  I told every person that I gave one to that Jesus loves them and cares about them and He was the reason we were giving them the gift cards.

Some people shouted for joy, some cried, some shared their stories with us, some hugged us, and some immediately started calling people to tell them what a blessing they had just received.  One person said to another that was with them, “See, I told you we need to go to church Christmas Eve.” In my nearly 53 years of living, I’ve never experienced anything like it.  We were so blessed.

One young mother hugged Diane so long and hard that I didn’t know if she was going to ever let go.  And I know why she didn’t want to let go of Diane.  Diane gets teary-eyed very easily.  Her eyes are full just reading this right now, I guarantee you.  (And in full disclosure, so do I.)  I learned in New York that my tears are a gift from God.  So when the young mother told Diane about her life and kids and how much that $50 was going to help, she saw the love in Diane’s eyes.  It’s not often in this world that you run across a stranger whose eyes well up for you.  That’s why she held Diane so long.

And that’s exactly why I cling to Jesus.

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