Saturday, December 7, 2013

It Snowed Love

Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.
1 John 4:11-12

Love drifted down today in silvery flakes. It twinkled and swirled in the air just above the heads of over four hundred children. Love’s whisper softly brushed the faces of almost one hundred adults.

Love wafted in gentle voices. It rang out in glee-filled laughter. Love cascaded in the mixed voice of grateful and polite children. It swirled around the hearts of those who came to serve.

Love was spread today, first as icing on cookies and then as the sweet covering of newly formed relationships. It bubbled up in fun games and shared stories. It multiplied as childish hands and hearts created festive cards to pass along to those they loved.

Love grew today. Adult’s hearts expanded as they reached out with selfless dedication to envelope children not their own. Children’s hearts expanded, nourished by the love so freely given.

If you were one of the more than 175 adults who took part in Wildwood Winter Wonderland, The Chapel’s outreach to an elementary school, then you were both a giver and a beneficiary of the love. If this blog is your first introduction to the events of this day, then a few details will help you understand.

The Chapel in Baton Rouge hosted a Christmas party for an entire school today, sending teams of three volunteers into each classroom to do simultaneous parties throughout the school—and giving the teacher a break. It required almost a hundred adults to work with the children. An almost equal number of volunteers worked behind the scenes yesterday, assembling supplies and setting the stage.

One team of volunteers worked at the school last night to create the winter wonderland that greeted the children as they arrived for school. Paper snowflakes hung from trees outside, so that the children were given a hint of what was in store. Inside the school, the ceiling of every hallway was covered with various shapes and sizes of glittering snowflakes that hung low enough to be just above the head of an elementary child.

Earlier yesterday another team of volunteers worked for hours to assemble and pack the party supplies into bags and boxes. They counted out cotton balls and placed them in individual cups for one game. Spoons, straws, paper plates were sorted, counted and bagged per classroom. The game with M&M’s required a different set of cups. There were sugar cookies to be counted and packaged, along with icing and knives and sprinkles and whatever other goodies went on top. Then there were the craft supplies. Each box was labeled and had the exact number of supplies needed for the students in that classroom.

Hosting a party for so many children is not an easy task—especially this time of the year. Volunteers took time off from work to be in the classrooms today. Others missed dinner with their families last night. Many set aside other Christmas chores. They braved a light rain and impending cold. I didn’t hear a single complaint about the sacrifices that were made. This was a labor of love.

When you take into account God is their Father, their outpouring of love only make sense.