One of my favorite Christmas movies is probably National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, the best of the Vacation movies they should have ended the series with instead of Vegas. There’s a part in the movie where Clark Griswold learns that his cousin-in-law Eddie is unable to buy Christmas gifts for his children. So in a grocery store he tells Eddie they’d like to help, and Eddie, initially reluctant, agrees and apparently assumes the help extends to Snots, their mangy mutt, because Eddie piles bags and bags of dog food in the cart.
On my way to the office I pass by a church sign that reads: If you need help this Christmas, call 937-xxx-xxxx. I was reminded of a couple years ago when I lost my job how a family we know asked us if we’d need help with Christmas, sort of like Clark did with Eddie. I said no, that we’d been saving all year towards Christmas. Though we transferred a little out of that envelope into savings, we were still able to buy a few presents for the girls.
This and the church sign and Clark and Eddie got me wondering how proactive we are in looking for those who need help. Now, you’d be surprised how many people call a church looking for help. That’s good, I think, because it means they know Christians are willing to help. But a lot of people will never ask for help, whether because they’re embarrassed or just feel like they have to make it on their own. For as many people in need you see on the street corners looking for a handout, there are countless others who simply go without.
Instead of waiting for people to ask, let’s talk to God and ask him to point out those he wants us to be a blessing to. We have some other friends from the church where I served at briefly who set aside money every Christmas and look to hear from God on who they should give it to. We’d just met them when I started serving there and they asked me if we needed help. I said no, as I did to my other friends. And knowing I didn’t have a full-time job yet, they replied, “If your circumstance continues on and you do need help, we’d love to.”
We’ve been blessed by more than one person who loves Jesus and wants to be like him in generosity. Let’s be like them too and not just at Christmas. People need help on President’s Day and St. Patty’s too. If we ask, God will show us people in need. We too can be like Clark W. Griswold.