i paint i write

Live boldly, laugh and make art

In three days Jesus will have a birthday

In three days Jesus will have a birthday.

My children will wake up in the early hours of the morning and go downstairs to see the wrapped presents we placed under the tree the night before. They will go and see what Santa placed in their wool stockings they hung over the fireplace.  They will play with the  unwrapped present Santa left while they wait for us to wake up.

This year my husband has a job. This year my husband has a paycheck. We have money to buy presents. We have money to buy food.

Ten years ago, my husband did not get his paycheck in December. The company he started with two friends did not get paid by their clients. We had no money to buy presents. We had no money to buy food.

The air in Minnesota felt colder. The snow felt deeper.

The doorbell rang. We went to open the door, but there was no one there. On the floor of the front porch was a box of groceries: peanut butter, cereal, Kraft dinner, canned soup, and a turkey.

The phone rang, a friend asked me what the children wanted for Christmas. She bought  each child one  gift and gave them to me to give to our three children. Her name was not on the gift tag.

When we went to church the Sunday before Christmas, friends gave us gift cards to the local grocery store, and handed us cash. I had enough money for food and I had $5.00 to spend on each child.

The snow did not seem as deep. The air felt warmer.

I saw Jesus in the hands that gave to our children.  I saw Jesus in the feet that brought us food.

In three days we will sing.

“Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday dear Jesus. Happy Birthday to you.”

Please tell me when you saw the hands and feet of Jesus at Christmas. Please tell me in the comments. I would love to chat.


About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

Feature Box

Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • La McCoy

    very beautiful.

  • Laura Robb

    Lovely story, Pamela! Three years ago my family saw the hands and feet of Jesus after my grandmother had fallen and was in the nursing home/hospital. It’s beautiful to see the love of friends and neighbors in action.

  • Beautiful post, Pamela. I too have seen the hands and feet of Jesus.

    • Thank you Anne. I pray you are warm and feel the love of Jesus.

  • Loved your post and how you saw the hands and feet of Jesus. I too, have experienced that more than a few times.

    There was the time a box was left outside our second floor apartment. In it was a Fisher Price toy high chair for Jessica, a “cool,” jean jacket for Nathan. A wonderful shirt for Mike and a milk glass basket I saw and loved in a thrift shop. I knew the giver, though she denied it.

    Another time 8 years ago, our family received a box with a fleece blanket which still lives on the back of our sofa. A candle, baked goods, toys.

    Another time we received baked goods and homemade candy from a tenderhearted writer with a generous heart.

    There have been times there were no gifts under the tree. Sickness came uninvited and stayed. Meager times, such as this year. And yet, I sit looking at this tree once given to us, smiling at where Jude and Charlie placed the ornaments. I’m thankful my house is warm, my bills are paid.

    Instead of handing gifts to each other we tell each other what we’d give if we had the money.

    One year when we got out of the army, Mike and I stayed with friends. There was no money for gifts that year and it stung. I cried out to God asking, “Do you know how I feel? I don’t even have a place to lay my baby down?” And he whispered, “Yes.” Since Nathan wouldn’t realize it, I wrapped up a couple of his own toys so he had something to open from us. And I gave our hostess a brand new tablecloth—a gift I had received and never used. Because when you don’t have money, it doesn’t take away your desire to give.

    You learn to ponder what matters. Like an infant in swaddling clothes.

    • Thank you for sharing your stories of where you saw the hands and feet of Jesus. And thank you for the reminder of what really matters.

  • Terrie Coleman

    Wonderful post, Pamela. I have tears in my eyes and am thinking of all I am thankful for as well. Christmas blessings to you!

    • Hello Terrie,
      Thank you. I always feel better when I think about what I am thankful for.
      Merry Christmas to you!

  • Pamela, this post touched my heart and I had tears in my eyes by the time I finished reading. Last Friday I wrote a post about how the holidays are not happy for some people. Circumstances and life happen and we all have so many opportunities to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Blessings!

  • Pamela Black

    Jamie (http://www.theveryworstmissionary.com/) had a short post on facebook last week that said, “I realize the holidays are difficult for some folks. If you’re one of them…I love you. That’s all.”
    I know it sounds odd, but that little tiny encouragement has replayed in my head I don’t even know how many times. Not as Jamie saying I love you, but as God saying it.
    The holidays are hard. And as much as we love our families, there are things that we can’t, and didn’t, and wouldn’t choose. Sometimes, those things get amplified during the holidays until you can’t hear anything else. Especially not a still, small voice.
    The hands and feet of Jesus aren’t always in hands and feet, sometimes they are in words. I’m so grateful for the words that bear Him to me.

    • Me too Pamela. I am glad that the hands and feet of Jesus are in words too.
      I pray the still small voice of Jesus will drown out all the noise of stress and family that may not be supportive.
      Merry Christmas Friend.

  • from my home to yours, my spirit to yours, my heart to yours, Merry Christmas.

  • Iya

    I have seen nothing but the hands and feet, and heart of Jesus THIS Christmas. I am looking across the table at my beloved, hard working husband, knowing that he sits there as a direct result of the prayers of dear friends. In the midst of the greatest crisis of our lives, my family was provided excellent care, also because of the generosity of those dear friends.

    • pamelahodges

      Praying for the continued healing of your sweet husband’s heart. The hands and feet and heart of Jesus had you covered in prayer, and food. (with no salt)

  • pamelahodges

    Kathleen, thank you for sharing the link to prisonfellowship. This is a great example of seeing the hands and feet of Jesus.

  • Pamela, I hope you won’t mind if I share the link for Prison Fellowship’s Angel Tree program: http://www.prisonfellowship.org/programs/angel-tree/ We participated in this for the first time this year. More than a million children have parents in prison who won’t be with them for Christmas, so you go and get presents on behalf of the parents and give them to the kids, “this is from mom/dad, they really love you.” It really is an example of Matthew 25:40 love. Anyway, that’s where I have seen the hands and feet of Jesus this Christmas.

    • Pamela Black

      My mother has faithfully lead a bible study at a womens prison facility for over six years. It is amazing the things that God is doing among those who are broken in spirit. I have been so blessed to be able to hear of the amazing things the Holy Spirit is doing in the lives of these women.