Its amazing how our perspectives on so many things change as we age. I look now at my niece who told me last week “Three more weeks until Christmas.” and responded “Oh really?”. I had to check my calendar because I was not keeping track of things. But she is right. Christmas is right around the corner. I remember when that used to be me though, once BEC started to put up those “decorations” on the lamp poles, it was on, Christmas comin’!!! With Junkanoo playing while we painted the house and the Christmas tree being assembled, I have fond memories of the excitement that led up to December 25th. Somewhere along the road of life however, time and age suck up on me and kidnapped my childhood sentiments for the season replacing it with a more solemn vibe.
God has blessed us. Many of us will be in abundance this season. I mean even the dog may get some ham this lap lol. On the other hand, some individuals may not be as fortunate so I’m not even sure I’m allowed to be a shopaholic (not that I am because I tend to just go through the motions). I just found out that our little friend Zion won’t be home for Christmas. She begins two weeks of nonstop treatment starting next week so I imagine instead of waking up early and running to the tree to open gifts she could very well be lying in a hospital bed feeling very drained from her chemo meds and experiencing nausea. What is so “merry” about that? Nevertheless, Zion is cute as a button and very cheerful and excited about the prospects of starting school next year.
What I’ve learned from providing a photo session for cancer survivors/ patients and their family is a true appreciation for the simple things. I’ve seen firsthand how important it is that our joy should not come from our ability to have or gain but rather to give. I will never forget my second cancer survivor family session. I worked with a lady and her young son. The lady had beat breast cancer. Right before she was about to start the guest list for the victory dinner however, she had a seizure. Her cancer was back with a vengeance and had metastasized to the brain. This impaired her motor function and as such one side of her body was weaker and walking was impaired. What impressed me though was her willingness to try. She kept apologizing for taking long because we had to help her along the way but what she was DETERMINED; both to making us laugh and ensuring a good session. We had an idea that involved her and her son on some rocks but when I saw her difficulty walking I ruled it impossible and told my assistant we may have to scrap this idea. But, we did it! Four people helped her down and we did it while laughing. I didn’t expect her to have this joy but it helped me to appreciate the song “I’ve got the joy joy joy joy down in my heart..”.
The true spirit of Christmas has nothing to do with the fluff and extra stuff we may and may not experience this month. The Christmas story is one of compassion, God compassionately rescued us when he sent his son. Regardless of what you don’t have this Christmas, find one thing to give God thanks for and even better, show some compassion to someone you meet or know. Compassion, to keep it simple is caring enough to do something about someone else’s need.
With a few more days to Christmas, we encourage you to join us and share some compassion. For the first time ever we will be hosting “The Zion Project”. We want as many of you who can to go out and purchase a gift for a child and get to us by December 21st,2012. We will be combining our gifts with those received from the children at Bahamas Harvest Church and donating them to local children’s charity organizations. Get your entire family involved and let us put the compassion back in Christmas. Sharing is caring. One lucky gift giver will be selected for a family photo session. Send us a Facebook message or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in taking part in The Zion Project.