What can I give him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
if I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
yet what I can I give him: give my heart.

‘if I were …’ ‘I would …’ One thing ‘I can’ I CAN GIVE HIM MY HEART.

Estera and I travelled to Beius ‘In the bleak midwinter’ the snow had come and the frosty winds added colour to our cheeks. As we drove (yes another eventful journey) I silently prayed ‘Lord always let there be room in my heart for Thee, but also for others’.

I thought of the hundreds, thousands of lonely people in this world, and for them Christmas is another day alone. I began to count my blessings given daily from His hand; my friends who take time to write a handful on purpose just when needed.   My friend Barbara wrote to me this morning and I quote:

I was reading some reflections by Timothy Keller this morning and thought of you and the dear brothers and sisters in Romania. They were on Psalm 138. It is people without resources who know best the lavishness of God’s love. Self sufficient people don’t go to God with the same desperation and so never discover his love and his power on their behalf. Our culture calls for self assertion but we know the need of his upholding strength.

As I closed the door of 205 behind me I made my way (slipping and sliding) to the car knowing in my heart others were standing beside me; I was not alone. One of the principles of love is compassion and my heart is filled with so much compassion for my Little Ella. Estera and I shared the privilege of caring, giving, loving and how it impacts our lives in our times of private devotion and worship, in our alone time with God.

We had chatted so much we were soon at our destination, yes those challenging, endless stone steps. Half way up a little voice was heard from behind, ‘Sister Shirley, I need to rest’. I felt good even at my age I could keep climbing. Angelina heard the laughing on the stairs and came to meet us; then like a whirlwind Ella flew down the steps clutching two hand made christmas decorations for her ‘friends’. I know many of you have asked me to ‘Hug’ Ella for you; well I lost count of the hugs received and this was before entering the apartment. We were ushered straight into the kitchen (Angelina couldn’t wait). Wow! Overjoyed and thrilled to display her new cooker and the limited space for the made to measure sink unit. Through her tears she said ‘Now, we are and look like a normal family’. What a statement! God delights in kindness; we see it and recognise it in His nature. ‘Let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness…’ Jer 9: 24. We delight His heart when we give of ourselves to others.

ella21Ella’s joy could not be contained as she opened her beautiful watch sent from a loving family in Northern Ireland. ‘It is very beautiful, thank you’. ‘A beautiful watch for a beautiful princess’ was my reply. Her condition remains unchanged. One of her teachers was calling for 1 hour schooling after our visit as she is facing important examinations in January. Her brother Aurlian is poorly just now and was looking quite sickly today, suffering a lot of pain and discomfort. My heart warmed as Ella told me, ‘I have no friends but Aurlian is my best friend, then my brother and I am his best friend and then his sister’. The words of a child touched my heart. I asked if I may enter the adjoining room to speak with her father Lazar. He smiled as I took him by the hand and said ‘let me raise you up and we can talk together’, even though he was unable to communicate, his smile said all I needed to know.

The Heart of Jesus displays simple acts of kindness. Lord, may I have the strength, wisdom, grace required to show your love and compassion in my limitations of kindness.

As we left, Angelina said, ‘Please give my love and thanks to this couple from Irlande De Nord for giving to us their heart this Christmas’. Aurlian walked us to the car and there was joy on his face to receive a shoebox even at twenty six years of age. Also for him it was Christmas in his heart.

Love has many languages, let us never stop talking.

Shirley, 15 December 2017

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