This morning I was touched by a Christmas card we received. It was from a 20-something young man with autism. Brandon lives with his parents in Oxford, does not drive, and leads a very simple humble life. Brandon met Chris and I through Young Life many years ago. He latched on to Chris and of course Chris loved Brandon with a wreckless abandon. Quite honestly I was less patient as Brandon would call our home, our office (we worked together), and our cells several times a week. Always at the most inopportune time. He just wanted to touch base and let Chris know the most recent happenings in his life…the mail came, he bought a new baseball card, etc. In the “busyness” of my life and ministry I often would become annoyed by Brandon’s calls. Over the years and through the switching of vocations, the calls were less frequent…but Brandon has stayed connected to Chris.
This morning I opened a card from Brandon simply saying,
“Dear Christopher, Jennifer, Kylee, Caleb and Joshua–(seriously he knew all my kids names???)–
Let me start off by saying what an amazing year this has been (although we have not talked much this year). But I look forward to the next year and what it has to offer. Finally, I would like to wish you and yours a safe, wonderful, blessed, and Merry Christmas. May God continue to bless all of y’all.
Brandon and Family”
I was STRUCK by his simplicity. STRUCK by his joy. (What has made his year so amazing?) I doubt he won the lottery or even had any major event happen that we would normally consider “amazing”. He is just simply thankful and was quick to find the joy in the past year of his life. He is gracious with us that we have not been in touch–not annoyed or bitter–but hopeful of more time in the future. And what a beautiful “wish” I have not been wished a more sincere Christmas “wish” in my lifetime!
Forgive me Brandon for missing the simplicity of our friendship in the past. Forgive me for being too rushed to slow down…I missed your heart…I missed YOU.
I have learned many lessons this morning–ones that I hope to carry me well through the Christmas season. I hope to remember to stand in awe of the little things. I hope to be gracious with others. I also hope to send SINCERE well wishes and blessings. My friend Brandon who many would say in this world is “the least of these” and “simple” taught me GREAT WISDOM today!
God says that he uses the foolish to shame the wise. I am SO very thankful.
May YOU be a blessing and may you be blessed!