19 December, 2008
What A Way to Witness
Our high school band does an annual fund raiser by setting up in the mall and wrapping gifts for people for a donation. They set no amount and will take what ever someone cares to give. Some people are very generous, others are not. I won't say any more about that at this point.
Today, my daughter, Ashley was helping to wrap gifts. At dinner tonight she was telling us about the adventures of the day. If you know Ashley, you know very well that she had plenty to say. But then she began to tell about one particular woman that really upset her. She said that this woman brought about 10 packages for them to wrap. They allow the people to choose which paper to use; but this woman was not satisfied with any of the paper. She kept asking why they did not have any paper with baby Jesus on it, and insisted that they go buy some for her, because she wanted baby Jesus on her packages. Over and over Ashley explained that the paper that they had out was all that they had and that they could not go buy more paper. The woman became pretty huffy about it. She decided to have the gifts wrapped anyway, but she continued to let the kids there know just how unhappy she was that they had no paper with baby Jesus on it. Ashely was wrapping one of the gifts, and when she finished she asked the woman if she would like some ribbon on it. She indicated that she did, but that she did not want any of the ribbon she saw, she wanted purple ribbon. Ashley again tried to explain that what they had out on the tables was all they had, and again she became huffy, and kept saying that she wanted purple ribbon and they should go get her some purple ribbon. Ashley showed her some colors that would look nice and recommended something that she thought looked nice, and the woman snapped back that she could just put on there what ever she wanted, but she was just appalled that they had no baby Jesus paper and now did not have the color ribbon she wanted. It went on and on like this until the kids had all 10 of her packages wrapped for her. She then demanded that they find some bags for her to carry them in, because there was no way she could carry those gifts without bags. The kids somehow found bags for her to use. When they handed her the bags, the woman pulled a wad of bills from her purse and fanned it out before them, and then pulled a one dollar bill out and handed it to them and had the nerve to say to the kids something like, "Merry Christmas and God bless you."
OK... If this was a church group wrapping the gifts, I could swallow it all and say that we did it as an act of service to God and others. But this was a group of high school kids trying to raise money for their band, and most of these kids are not saved. This woman, (apparently) was a Christian, (based on her request and her "God bless you") but her actions and attitude spoke volumes. I know some of these kids, and they are searching. Some are agnostic, some believe in God, but are filled with questions. What do you suppose this woman's actions spoke to them? She had them wrap 10 gifts, which the paper alone cost far more than what she paid them. She took advantage of them, and then offered up a "God bless you" as if that made things hunky-dory. If she could not afford it, I don't think one of those kids would have felt ill toward her. But remember, she fanned out a wad of tens and twenties in front of them and pulled out a dollar bill. In 20 minutes time this woman did a tremendous amount of damage to the spiritual psyche of these kids that Satan will use against them for years. I don't know for sure, but I'd be willing to wager that this woman felt justified in what she did because they did not have the baby Jesus paper she wanted, and of course, by adding the "God bless you all" at the end, she probably feels she witnessed to the kids. She witnessed to them all right. But just what was it that they witnessed?