Today has been a difficult day for me in the light of the news that perhaps I've suffered a renewed hearing loss, and it might take a while to either sort out or compensate in some way (new hearing aids etc.) as you can imagine I feel quite depressed about this, wondering how it would affect my Ministry etc. especially in what is still a relatively new area for me.
However, I try to be an optimist and have been reflecting that as we stand on the verge of another Christmas Day there are still a lot of good things around.
This morning I was in the town centre with my Rotary club Santa's grotto (yes, I was the deaf, fat elf!) raising money for good causes. Over £1500 has been raised over the last few days. Notice, I kept out of the photo.
As I worked I got talking to a non-Rotarian called Derek who for about 25 years has run a charity called Derek's tree, which invites members of the public to purchase a present to give to Derek for him to pass on to nominated children around the town. This year Derek's tree ave away about £20,000 worth of presents donated by the public.
On top of that I recall the £18,000+ raised by the YMCA sleep-out in November, money raised by the British Legion and by Help for Heroes, Children in Need, text Santa (last week), Movember, cancer charities, Oxfam, Christian Aid, relief in disaster areas like the recent tragedies in the Philippines and in Haiti etc. The giving of food to food banks by members of the public as well as by big name organisations like Tescos and Marks and Spencer's etc. The list of giving just goes on and on, and all this in a time if recession.
Generosity abounds in the midst if us and invites us to get involved.
And then I think about tomorrow and realise that we are recipients of the most generous giver of them all – God himself. Christmas Day marks the moment that Gid, voluntarily, gave himself to humankind as a little vulnerable child to show love, bring hope and ultimately to bring our salvation.
Yes, I'll continue to be frustrated by my hearing and yes I'll become despondent about it, but right now I'm focusing on the astounding generosity if God to this world and my issues pale into insignificance under my thankfulness.
To all my readers a very happy and blessed Christmas, and may the love of the Christchild surround you