This Christmas I invited a family into my home and gave them the kind of Christmas they are not used to. A single mom and her five kids packed into my car Christmas morning filled with anticipation. Four of the kids under 16 haven't been able to leave their neighborhood since March 2020. It was their first time seeing the outside world. The girls pointed out the windows at the scenery, as if the car ride itself were the gift. Of course my two story, 4 bedroom, 5 bath house looked like a mansion to their one bedroom shack. At first they were shy and unsure what to do in my house. Once I brought out the toys and invited them to play, they began to make themselves at home.
The three year old examined each toy, jumped up and down on the couches a few times, and said, "Masaya ako!" "I'm happy!" She hadn't yet played the games I had planned, ate spaghetti or cake, heard the story of Jesus, or opened her presents, but she was happy.
She was happy to be clean. She was happy to play. She was happy to be free from her usual environment. She was happy to be loved and watched over. She was happy about the new and different.
This little girl lost the fear she usually carried around with her. If only for a couple of hours, she was truly herself, who she was intended to be. A child.
Looking at her picture, my heart swells and aches simultaneously. She's holding a packet of powdered milk, only one part of one of her gifts, and she's happy. The equivalence of 21 cents in the form of a dried milk product brought a smile to this girls face because it's a luxury to her.
While I want to buy her all the milk and everything she could ever need or want, that's not the solution, nor the issue.
What I take away from this sweet girl's response is the contentment that can be found in the littlest of things. I want to live wide eyed, being so thankful and excited at even the smallest of things God has provided for me. I want to be happy in the little and the large.
I want to walk into a room, smile up at my Father, and say "I'm happy!"