Sunday, December 13, 2009

Real Open Talk For Life with WJC

My Christmas Angel…
By: Rev. W. Jeffrey Campbell, Houston, TX

On last Saturday I was scheduled to lead Praise and Worship at my church’s annual Angel Tree event. This event is hosted by our Criminal Justice and Outreach Ministries and provides gifts to children of incarcerated parents. This year over 500 children were blessed by this outreach effort.

On Saturday morning I was in quite a funk as I headed to the church. There was no particular reason for my melancholy mood. I was just walking around with a cloud over my head. When I entered the lobby of our life center I wondered to myself and to God, “How in the world am I going to lead these people in songs of celebration feeling the way that I do?” Little did I know that an angel awaited me in the ballroom of the life center.

When I entered the ballroom there were a few of the church staff and volunteers putting the final touches on decorations and set-up. I grumbled on the inside. My pastor’s wife is the hostess of this event every year. She too was standing across the room dressed in a beautiful red pant suit. When she saw me she waved and greeted me with a big “Good Morning!” I walked toward her and we hugged. She said, “It’s so cold in here! Come on, let’s go get some coffee.”

As we walked out of the ballroom towards the area where the coffee and hot tea had been set-up we just chatted…about nothing in particular. The more we talked, the more I could feel the conversation and her presence shifting my mood. I felt somewhat like the snowman in the Campbell’s Soup commercial. In that commercial a snowman comes inside from the cold and takes a seat at the kitchen table and begins to eat a steaming hot bowl of Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup. While eating the hot bowl of soul the snow begins to melt away and a little freckled face boy appears, all warmed up by the soup. I was that little boy last Saturday and whatever I was experiencing had caused me to freeze up but, one gesture by Mrs. Doris Gardner Ratliff melted away all the snow and revealed who I truly am. I am a man with a desire and a gift to lead God’s people in worship and praise. It’s amazing how one small gesture from an angel can make all the difference in the world.

Sometimes in our foggy and dark places not only do we miss the angels who are sent to bless us but, we are often too bogged down to praise God and bless the people of God. I have never had coffee with Mrs. Ratliff before. As a matter of fact, I rarely drink coffee except for with an occasional dessert. I could have very well have said, “No thank you. I’m really not a big coffee drinker.” However, in that moment it was not the coffee I needed. It was a few minutes of good company that was important and I am so glad I didn’t miss the opportunity to be encouraged.

Don’t miss your Christmas angel this season or any angel in any season. Slow down enough to recognize when the gesture being extended is just what God has ordered for you. I am a witness to the fact that a warm cup of coffee with an angel can change your “bah-humbug” to a song of praise.

“O come let us adore Him; O come let us adore Him; O come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!

Until next week…ROTFL with WJC!

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