I couldn't help but look into their faces and smile as we sang. It was such a great feeling, connecting with others through song as we caroled our way through visits to a nursing home and a few church folk who can't always make it to worship.
Nine of us, including eight year old Alia, got a tad bit overheated in the nursing home, and more than a tad bit chilly caroling outside people's homes, but it was heartwarming all the same. What could be better than sharing a gift that you have - one that costs no money and comes from the heart - with someone else to brighten their day?
At our last stop, Alia noticed that next to her tabletop Christmas tree, Betty had a betta fish. When we were done singing, Alia struck up a conversation with Betty, complimenting her on her beautiful betta and letting her know that she, too, has a betta. Betty, never having seen a white betta like Alia's, was very interested in learning more...but it was time for us to go. It was getting dark and dinner time was quickly approaching.
Being the thoughtful person that Alia is, she formed a plan: we would print out a picture of Angel, Alia's betta, and mail it to Betty. Better yet, we'd include it in a Christmas card. And maybe we could go back and visit Betty again sometime so they could swap betta stories.
It is those connections in life that are so important. I love that Alia doesn't care about age or color or gender or economic status when connecting with people - she cares only about the person and the connection. If only we could all, without thought or hesitation, make those connections daily ... what a wonderful place the world would be!
God, please help us to be better connected with the people around us. Help us see You in all we encounter and serve others as we would serve you. Thank you for the connections we have in our lives and the opportunities you provide us to make those connections.