The Giving Tree

Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.  Matthew 25:40

 The Giving TreeAs we waited for mass to begin, I noticed the giving tree had been set up in the chapel.  For the uninitiated, the Giving Tree is a Christmas tree decorated with paper ornaments with the name, age, and sex of a needy person in the area and something that they might like as a Christmas gift.  Every year we take a few names and purchase gifts.

“Hey honey,” I whispered. “We should get a few names from the giving tree while there are still lots to choose from.”

“Not today,” my wife Diane responded.  “I want to wait until they have been picked over.  I like to buy for the people that no one picks, you know, the leftovers.  I really like doing something special for the people no one picks.”

As I settled back into my seat, I realized what she had said.  We are very judgmental people.  We even judge what disadvantaged person gets our help.  I have been guilty of this myself.  I guess it is alright to pick a child, or a person of a particular sex, or in reading the notes, someone that we feel good helping, but, there are always a few that no one selects.

I was so proud of Diane!  I can really learn from her non-judgmental attitude.  As a matter of fact, she prefers the unwanted, the leftovers, those who no one felt worthy.

It reminded me that one of my heroes’, Mother Teresa, is quickly becoming a saint for just that reason.  She picked those that no one wanted, the leftovers, to help.

She would say, ““If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”

This Christmas season, let’s try to be less judgmental and help those who become the leftovers on the Giving Tree.

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