Sunday, November 10, 2013

shoeboxes filled with prayers

the first time i packed a shoebox, i remember how it stirred my heart.  a heart that was tender to the tiny hands that would open a box that i had so fervently prayed over. 

each year, my heart grows more and more tender to the children whose very lives are changed through simple items packed in a tiny shoebox.  for it is not the toys and candy and socks and soap that change their lives.  it is the truth of God's love that pours out of the box from the moment they first crack the lid. 

yesterday, my girl and i set out to purchase the items for our shoeboxes.  we pack boxes for children the same age as mine.  we pondered over items that these boys and girls would love.  this was the first year that my girl had the opportunity to pick out the items for the shoeboxes.  her excitement brought tears to my eyes. 

after the boxes we packed, we placed our hands on the lids and prayed again for a boy and a girl whose hands would fall upon the very items our hands had picked just for them.  we asked for their tiny hearts to be open to the gift of Jesus.  we prayed for His love to pour out, spilling onto everything their hands touched. 

sometimes my prayers spill out of my eyes. 

those shoeboxes were filled with liquid prayers.  may they serve as reminders that somewhere across the vast ocean, there is a family that loves a child deeply.  a child who will open a box filled with hope and love and prayers.  a child who will meet Jesus the day they receive a simple token of our love for them.

a box for a girl and a boy the same ages as mine

tonight, our church family gathered to celebrate operation christmas child. 

i have a dear friend who pours her heart into operation christmas child all year long.  the joy that radiates from her heart is contagious.  she makes her parents proud, i am sure of it. 

my heart is full of joy. 

i am forever thankful for the ministry of operation christmas child.  a friend who pours herself into the ministry day in and day out.  a church who stands behind her and supports the ministry.  and the hands who packed shoeboxes and prayed over the boxes that will be delivered worldwide.

praying for the children of the world who will receive shoeboxes
just a few of the shoeboxes our church packed

may His mighty name spread deeper and wider than we could ever imagine.  and may His abundant love fill the hearts of the hands that receive shoeboxes this year. 

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