Sunday, December 24, 2006

A Greater Gift

Now the Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We saw his glory – the glory of the one and only, full of grace and truth, who came from the Father.

It's really tempting to become preachy on Christmas Eve. As I look forward to the festivities of tonight and tomorrow, opening presents, spending large amounts of time with family (and people wonder why this season depresses me????), and reflecting on why we're celebrating, it would be really easy to shame people for standing in line for the Wii or Playstation 3, when a story like this crosses my desk:
HONG KONG (Reuters) - A Hong Kong schoolboy who died in a traffic accident has brought festive hope to at least seven other patients through the rare mass donation of a large number of his vital organs.

Fourteen-year-old Miu Chi-ho died from brain injuries after being hit by a bus several days ago, but doctors were able to save the heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, skin, bones and corneas of the healthy and athletic teen-ager.

"There were at least seven recipients of the organs," said a spokeswoman with Hong Kong's Hospital Authority.

Miu's 41 year-old mother, a single parent on social welfare, ignored the protests of superstitious relatives in insisting on the donations to "bring hope to other families," Hong Kong's Apple Daily newspaper reported Friday.
I think the key conflict of our lives is to try to live in grace, while not comprehending precisely what that "grace" is. "Grace" in this instance, is not just a Christian concept, but I define it as extending to anyone who wants to do good by their fellow humans.

You do a little good, and find out that all you've done is push the envelope of your life a little further out, that living in grace means always trying to do a little bit more to improve yourself, your life and the lives of those whom you touch.

Part of the raison d'etre of this blog is to give voice to my grace, to reach out and if I've changed one mind about one thing for the good in the sixteen months (and 93,000 visits!) I've written, then I've earned that much more grace. I plant seeds, and somewhere down the line, they sprout, I think.

Whether it's God, the Force, Intention (as described by Wayne Dwyer), what have you, the karmic circle of doing good, of paying it forward, can make massive changes, incrementally. The energy builds until it is unstoppable. A bus hits a teen, and seven people's lives suddenly become vastly improved. Not all of those seven will truly appreciate the gift they've been given, but it doesn't matter: someone will, whether it's the recipients, their families, or even just you, reading this story third hand on my blog.

And it will help inspire you to do right by doing good.

And THAT, my friends, is a greater gift. Forget the Wii. Tell this story at the dinner table tonight. Let's pay it forward. Please feel free in comments to talk about your greater gift.