We packed two shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child this year. Mini carefully and excitedly helped me get the one for a little girl ready. All of our items didn’t fill the box to the top, though, so we decided another little stuffed animal or doll would be a nice addition.
I came home and showed her Snoopy that I picked up while on an errand to CVS tonight. Snoopy plays music from A Charlie Brown Christmas when you squeeze his tummy.
She loved that Snoopy. She couldn’t bear to part with it.
She had known and loved Snoopy since the first time they met, a minute and a half earlier.
We had a good talk about how much the little girl will love Snoopy, too. How special it is to give a gift that means a lot to her. I reminded her of how many wonderful stuffed animals she has. Not once did I feel tempted to take that Snoopy out of the box for her to keep or say “I’ll get you one” (but I totally will get her one, you know…) I saw this as a teachable moment where I could tenderly communicate about thankfulness and giving to others.
She listened as a single tear fell down her cheek. She was trying her best to take it all in, then she surprised me. She walked over to our Thankful Tree and picked up one of the paper leaves that we use to write down what we’re thankful for. She asked me to write “the little girl who will get my shoebox.”
So sweet and sincere, I could tell. But she’s still a 4 year old! She cried and carried on all the way up the stairs to get her jammies on.
I passed by her room and saw her on her knees in bed, with her hands clasped, crying ever-so-loudly-and-dramatically. “Dear God, please let her take care of Snooooooopy!”
I stifled the laughter. I thank God for these little teachable moments, especially when they end with a visual like that!