Have you ever had the Spirit chastise you before? I did Saturday night, and I would have to admit, I am not the proudest of it. But through the humbling process, we were able to experience a Christmas story my kids and I will never forget. We had our own real story of "Light The World with Love."
Sunday was the last day, we as a primary, could meet for the rest of the year. So you know what that means? It's PRESENT TIME! We got the primary kids in our ward these nightlights that had a picture of Christ on them. So when you plugged them in, you could see Christ shining through the light.
Since I have been in primary, our motto has been on the "Light of Christ." Everything we as a presidency have done has been centered on what Christ feels like in our lives and how we can recognize him. We have so many experiences to be Christ's hands and be His light to the world.
Now to my humbling story...My family and I were Christmas shopping Saturday night in the new Mountain Village, a shopping center located close to my house. We were having fun shopping at Five Below, when a man came into the store in a wheelchair. He looked homeless!!! He had a bag attached to the back of his wheelchair, probably with some of his prized possession. He had a blanket covered in dirt, and his clothes were all torn up; he smelled horrible! He had many uncomfortable looks thrown his way as everyone dodged him, trying to get out of his path.
I have to say, unfortunately, I wasn't on my best behavior either. When I saw this man, my first thought was, "What is he doing here? We don't have homeless people around here." But as he strolled by me, the Spirit chastised me and said, "Liz, you need to show this man some love!" So hesitantly, I walked over to him, but I turned back around as soon as I was close to him. My heart started to pound, and again the Spirit spoke, "Liz, you need to show this man some love!" So I walked over to him and knelt in front of him, and said, "Can I help you buy your items?" He had two strawberry milks and two bags of chips sitting in his lap. He had earphones on and couldn't quite hear me, so he took them off, and I asked him again, "Can I help buy you your items?" The whole store was looking at me as I was kneeling down to this homeless man in an uptown shopping center. He replied, "Yes," as he handed me his items. We went to the front of the store, and I bought his stuff and gave it to him in a bag. I knelt again and asked him if he had a warm place to stay for the night. It was a really cold night, and there were no homeless shelters around here, and if he stayed on the street, he would freeze to death. I could at least call for some help! But the man responded that he had a place to stay. So my kids and I told him Merry Christmas, and we walked out of the store.
I thought less of a man because he didn't look like me. He didn't fit into this part of town. He smelled, looked dirty, and made us all feel uncomfortable, but in the sight of God, he is his child, and he wanted me to remember that he has not forgotten him.
As I gave the kids the night lights with Jesus on them, I shared my story about the man who helped us really see what Christmas is all about, and I left them with a little message I also want to share with you.
We are Christ's hands. Every time we help and serve others, we are his hands. When we serve others, we are spreading the light of Christ to the world. If we listen to the Spirit, then the Spirit will teach us how to share the light of Christ. So every time you look at your night light, and you see the light of Christ shinning, I want you to think of how you can shine the Light of Christ to those around you.
I want you all to know that the Spirit is real. He is talking to you all the time, but we don't listen, or we don't want to listen. He is prompting you to do good in this world so you, too, can share the light of Christ with others. But remember that the Spirit is also forgiving. You may not listen the first or even the second time, but he will continue to give you little promptings to bless others.
We need more light in this world, so I ask you this holiday season to listen to the voice inside of you and have the courage to act upon what the Spirit is asking you to do. I would love to hear what the Spirit prompts you to do to bring more light to the world. So please take a moment and write your experiences of when you saw or experienced the Light of Christ; we would all love to hear.