by Julie Jaunese
When our girls were 4 and 6 years old, we were living in Michigan. It was just before Christmas and there was an older gentleman, in his 80’s, in the grocery line trying to talk to my daughters. My Mom was with me and very observant. The girls wouldn’t speak to him because he was a stranger. Eventually he took out two nickels and gave one to each of the girls. They began talking to him and you could see he was someone who just wanted to have conversation to achieve the feeling of Christmas. My Mom began talking to him along with the girls and learned a couple of things about him. After we were in the car my Mom explained that he was alone and he had some health issues. The girls said we should give him a present. This was our first time we went out of our way to bless someone who did not expect anything. I called the doctor the gentleman told my Mom he went to, this was way before HIPPA, and through a process of elimination, they could tell me who he was and where he lived. My Mother was venturing to Georgia to visit my sister and Mike’s parents were going to Minnesota, therefore, Mike and I were alone with the girls for Christmas.
We had purchased gifts for our new “secret stranger” and loaded the girls in the car on a very snowy Christmas morning to take the gifts to a gentleman that we didn’t know and who didn’t know us. We got there about 11:00am and knocked on his front door. He let us in his home and remembered us from the grocery store. He lived in a small house that he had made smaller by closing off rooms for the winter to make it easier to heat. His living room and dining room were separated by a large archway. His bed had been moved into the dining room and he had a single chair in the living room with a TV tray next to it and a small table with a television set on it. He had two folding chairs against a blank wall that we sat in while we visited…we would be his only visitors that day.
My girls learned a valuable lesson, as did Mike and I. Every year while the girls were home we picked a person who we did not know, and we would bless them at Christmas. We have stories for each and every Christmas, but this was the first and the most significant, even to this day.
We are going to celebrate birth of Jesus very soon. Jesus said in John 13:34 “…Love one another as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” Everyone wants to be touched by someone…. How will you touch someones heart this Christmas? Share your comments below.
Julie Jaunese has been married to her husband Michael for 42 years. She has two daughters and three grandchildren. She works at Moffitt Cancer Center and hosts two women’s small groups, the Yada Book Club and the Fabulous Fems. Mike and Julie have been part of Grace Family Church since it began with 40 people in a house.