The Season of Giving


My son and I scoured the aisles at a local Walmart to find the shorter lines of customers about to pay. 

“Let’s count and make sure we only have 20 items so we can just go to the Express lanes,” I uttered.There were only three people ahead if we qualified.

“Yes!,” my son exclained. “20!”

The last one was a lady wearing a vest with the Walmart logo. She was probably getting something small and was taking her break. Turning around, she talked to me and requested, “Would you please save my spot? I just need to get a drink really quick!”

“Sure! No problem!,” I responded, as I stood still despite her leaving a big gap between me and the person ahead of her. Other people were already curiously looking. Perhaps, not hearing her request, wondering why I didn’t advance my cart.

Coming back, she proudly held a big can of a cold coffee with extra shots.

“Thank you so much! I just needed this!,” she said with a big smile on her weary face.

Anticipating a few more minutes waiting time, the line hardly moved despite it being the express lanes. 
“Busy!,” I told the lady.

She replied, “It’s hard to predict. Actually, this is nothing. Sometimes, it’s slower, then late at night, that’s when it hits us again.” Standing still while facing me, I was surprised when she kept talking and told me that her daughter had passed away and that she left a granddaughter that now she was taking care of.

“I love her to death! She looks exactly like my daughter…”

“I’m so sorry for your loss. But I’m glad you’re there to look after your granddaughter.”

“Well, the dad sometimes doesn’t take full responsibility. I’m not mean but I have to say something to him to take his part and not just let others take care of her daughter. Sometimes, I feel I’ve been taken advantage of…”

“I’m sure  it’s not easy for you to confront him. But you know what’s best for your granddaughter. I’m sure it makes a difference if her father gets involved.”

“Sometimes, it hurts that my own family seems like strangers to me than friends,” I continued. “So I have changed my point of view. Being blood-related sometimes doesn’t mean a thing if we belong to God’s family, doesn’t that count as families? That we can consider others our own families because that’s what God wants anyway.. is for us to help each other out if we are in His family…”  I saw her nodding her head a few times in agreement. In the corner of my eyes, I saw others’ reactions. Of wonderment why this stranger, a lady who worked at a local Walmart and this paying customer, a middle-aged woman with just 20 items in her cart could have possibly shared life’s stories in a little over 5 minutes in that line.

“Happy Holidays, you guys!” she said loudly after paying for her drink and other items.

“Merry Christmas!,” my son and I hollered as she continued to walk away and savor that short break to enjoy the energy boosting drink.

I told my son… I didn’t know the reason why we talked that way. Many people, I knew might be wearing big smiles on their faces. But deep inside, what was hidden was unbearable pain, unhealed wounds, hopelessness, faithlessness, and feeling of being rejected.

This is the Season of giving. Many around us are truly suffering. Shall we be limited only to helping out our families? Who around us are truly in need, if not of physical things but much more those who have deep voids in their hearts?” Sometimes, a simple acknowledgement of their existence by saying a sincere “Hello” or “Thank You” might mean the world to them. People worry about changing lifestyles to combat climate change when the real change needed is the condition of the hearts. Many people easily get offended by words and try to correct and mask them with words that might seem coated with peace, love and kindness. But the very same people who are offended are the ones who hurt others with actions and words. True peace, love and kindness can only be emitted from a heart changed by God’s grace. It is a gift from God.
All posts/composed songs copyright by RCUBEs.


The Attacker (5/15/09)

The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies. Ephesians 6:12 [37 kb]

Out in the prison’s yard, some huge Sheriff’s buses were illuminated by the soft glow coming from the lights all over from the tall lamp posts. Their engines were turned on, warming up, before the buses would take the inmates to the different courts where they would have their trials.

Orange-uniformed men were lined up in pairs, joined together with handcuffs and chained, forming a long line. They already had their breakfast and had their morning medications prior to going to courts. Some were fidgeting, as they waited to board those buses.

All of a sudden, all hell broke loose! Two men were engaged in a fight, using weapons they made secretly for a while. Deputies called for help on the radio, both for custody back-up and medical staff, as well.

When the air was cleared and the other inmates were secured, one man was down on the floor. He sustained multiple gashes but two of them were deep. One cut was vertically etched from his left ear going down to the jaw line. The other dangerous cut was horizontal on his left neck, close to the jugular vein. Pool of blood dripped all over the floor. Holding his bleeding neck, he was pointing at the other inmate few feet away, being guarded by the other deputies.

The other man being accused was not hurt. There were no lacerations nor any other signs of trauma. He was obviously very agitated as he was being questioned by those deputies, while the medical staff started treating the other man on the floor. They cleaned the wounds and controlled the bleeding. That man was sent to the nearby hospital.

When the investigation was finalized, it turned out to be that the “downed man who was accusing the other inmate” was the attacker and the other one who didn’t have injury was the one attacked. The deputies found out that it was the second attempt to attack the unhurt man. Both attacks on him failed. He was well-prepared after the first attempt on him, that when the second attempt was done, he was able to defend himself and ended up injuring his attacker severely.

[Source: NLT Bible ]:

We also have an “accuser of the brethren.” Satan and his army of demons are the enemies of God and of everything good.

“Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death.” –Hebrews 2:14

Because of what Jesus had done [dying on the cross], we, who live in constant fear of death shouldn’t be afraid anymore. Jesus had freed us from that fear so we can live for Him. When we belong to God, we know that death is only the portal that leads into “eternal life”. [“Thank You Lord!].

Paul warned us, too that we also battle against the evil forces of Satan, who is a vicious fighter. But to be able to withstand their attacks, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of His armor. We face an army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Christ, they become our enemies. They will try any device to turn us away from the Lord.

Fear not! For God has provided His supernatural power to defeat Satan and his army, through His Holy Spirit within us. So, arm yourselves with God’s armor.

Let us be strong in the Lord's mighty power. Let's put on His whole armor to resist the enemy's attacks: put on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that we are well-prepared. We will need faith in every battle as our shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed by Satan and his army. Let us put on salvation as our helmet, not forgetting the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Let's pray at all times, on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. We must stay alert and be persistent in our prayers for all Christians everywhere. [Ephesians 6:10-18].