As I sit here typing this in the glow of my Christmas tree (the day before Thanksgiving), I find myself considering that we tend to think more about others this time of year. There are hundreds of worthy non-profits doing fundraising drives, Angel Trees everywhere, families in need who are being “adopted” for holiday meals and gifts, and on and on. I love it, because I think we are at our very best when we are outward-thinking.

But what about every other day?

It’s certainly not a new thought. There are songs about making it “Christmas All Year Long.” However, it really hit me yesterday, as I was typing up a letter.

Remember our interviewee from last week? The one who talked about her loss and getting back into life? Well, she had a few financial obstacles come up in her background check that all stemmed from her husband’s illness/death, and the sudden loss of income. Prior to that, everything was stellar. Moved by her story, and her determination to work herself out of this hole, it was decided that we wouldn’t walk away from what could be a difficult or even impossible hire because of this hurdle. Instead, we would craft a letter to the powers that be, including pertinent supporting documentation, and go the extra mile.

We worked for about an hour on the letter, and just as I finished typing it up and attaching the documents, I heard,

Okay, send it off. Let’s see if we can change a life today.”

That right there? It thrills me to my core. Is there anything more remarkable than helping a person change their life to something infinitely better? Isn’t that worth the extra effort it might take, a few more steps to the process, a few more dollars from your pocket, or hours from your day? I believe the answer is a resounding YES.

That sweet lady was in, again, yesterday, to discuss what we were going to do, and sign some more paperwork. As I was walking her out, she hugged me and said, “This has been a wonderful experience, even just up to this point. No matter what happens, thank you for trying so hard and believing in me. It’s been a really long time.”

Please give generously this Christmas to those worthy causes and people in need. But don’t neglect to go the extra mile for the people all around you, every day. You’ll likely find that some times the only extra step you need to take is to believe in someone, so they can start to believe in themselves.

That, alone, can change a life forever.


“God didn’t set us up for an angry rejection but for salvation by our Master, Jesus Christ. He died for us, a death that triggered life. Whether we’re awake with the living or asleep with the dead, we’re alive with him! So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you’re already doing this; just keep on doing it.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 MSG

Anxiety weighs down the heart,
    but a kind word cheers it up.” Proverbs 12:25 NIV