I was hit, you guys. I was completely struck.
You know, sometimes in the midst of hard times, I begin to turn inward. It's easy, really. It's the path with the least resistance - and the least mileage. It's so shortsighted.
This Christmas, with my Madre on the other side of the world, and my Grandfather in the hospital, I was pretty darn close to throwing a pity party. I was overwhelmed, filled with discontent, and anxious of the future.
But then on Christmas day, we visited the orphanage.
And it was the biggest blessing I've had in a long time.
My perspective shifted.
It's been a long time since I've felt such deep feeling. I don't think I can describe it.
I just know that my trials melted away so quickly, as I played with these children and celebrated the birth of Christ.
They were so happy.
You see, the unique thing about Children's Homes in Japan is that the children rarely get adopted. This is because parents do not want to bring shame upon their family by giving the responsibility of their children to another.
They do not want their children to adopt another name.
But on the other hand, if their children are illegitimate or are simply a burden, they do not want to carry the shame of calling such a child their own.
So these children are trapped. in the orphanage, without the ability to be adopted into loving families.
And most times, they don't even have siblings to afford them familiarity because siblings are separated within the system. The children are alone.
I couldn't help but notice throughout the day that in the midst of all their pain and loneliness, they were so happy.
And I was reminded of the verse in Philippians where Paul said he learned to be content in all circumstances...sometimes I think smaller the circumstances produce more fruitful contentment.
I envy their simply joy.
And I believe they gave me a gift unequal to any I received on Christmas Day:
They gave me perspective.
So I'm happy too...and I know that God does indeed carry gifts in the midst of every trial.
He is always good.
Merry Christmas, everyone.