I recently volunteered to help with some administrative tasks with a community Angel Tree. One responsibility assigned to me was to call a couple families and get the children's wish list. I wasn't sure what to expect.
I made a call, and the father answered. I briefly told him why I was calling. His voice was filled with a mix of embarrassment and humility as he answered my questions about the children in the home and their "wish list". I probed for specific desires in regards to brands, styles, and the most wanted toys. His response "No, no, really this is enough."
I was left with a list of basic things. There was not one fashion label, electronic, or sought after toy.
After the call ended I tried to explain the conversation to my husband, but rather I just burst into tears. Past the typical clothing, I couldn't utter the first "wish" on the list. A mere soccer ball. Each time I tried to say it I cried. I cried a hopeful cry.
I am not sure what the phone call meant to this father or what he received, but he gave me a gift of joy. Something so sweet burst forth because this father knew his children. He was able to tell me about each one and what activities were enjoyed outside of school. Just listening to him was beautiful because what I noticed was that each activity he mentioned required family interaction, imagination, sharing of talent, and the preparation for a brighter future.
I called in efforts to give, but instead I received. My joy was renewed as I witnessed the strength of this family through a relationship with their father.
Where have you found unexpected renewal of joy lately?