This man first gave us a gift card to a local restaurant one of our first Christmases here. He included a note saying something to the effect of "Enjoy a night out together". It was a sweet gift, and we were touched.
And each year, he sent the same gift. As we started a family, his gift changed slightly. He included the gift card as usual, and also a $20 bill -- for babysitting. This man had the idea to cover all our expenses for the evening, even down to a babysitter. As a mom myself, I don't think I ever would have had that idea!
As the years passed, the gift continued to arrive each December. A few years ago, the card simply read "Repeat the past", and his signed name. And we did repeat the past each year -- we went out to dinner and paid the babysitter, all thanks to this quiet, gentle man.
A little over a year ago, he went home to heaven. My heart was stirred when I realized his was the first funeral in our new sanctuary. He was an unassuming man, never looking for glory or recognition. In his quiet way, he touched those around him, certainly our family.
This Christmas, I thought of him as I got the mail and read Christmas greetings from friends and family. His card was not among them this year, but his kindness to us was not forgotten. I want to be the same kind of person he was -- not looking for accolades, but simply looking for opportunities to bless those around me.