Faith & Insight: The generosity of God makes the difference

There is so much hustle and bustle in the Salvation Army during the Christmas season as we embark on the tremendous tasks of fundraising with our red kettles and silver bells, collecting toys and food for families in need, and all the typical activities of a church during the holidays. Our office is like a beehive, and to an outsider, it may look a bit chaotic. Believe me, it is at times, but it is organized chaos, and the end purpose is always in the forefront of our minds; that is the minds of my husband’s and mine and our staff, which is to glorify God and to lift others up.

The Salvation Army’s motto of “Heart to God, Hand to Man,” though we live it out all year long, is played out to the fullest expression that we can muster from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve as we collect and distribute from generous and giving souls to those who need a helping hand. It’s a tremendous job, a wonderful and humbling job.

I love this time of year. It’s during the Christmas season where I see so many whose hearts go out to those who have little and choose to make a difference. I have heard a few “bah humbugs,” but I see more whose hearts are in line with the spirit of Christmas.

It’s humbling because we are the conduit through which others give. We receive the thanks and the praises, but it is the generosity of others who make the difference. The thanks and the praise belongs to them and to which I wish to express my gratitude.

During the Christmas season, we remember the giver of all good gifts; the one whose generosity was so great that he sent his only son to the world so we may have life. It is during this time that we reflect on the small child lying in a manger and the grandiose mission that lay before him. It is by the birth of Jesus the Christ that we have awe and wonder, and by his death and resurrection that we have hope and a future. His gift to us is the gift of life, here and now, and into eternity. In him we find peace in our hearts and are truly humbled by his generosity.

So as we approach Christmas day, as we think of others, our friends, our family, neighbors, and the less fortunate, take a pause and whisper a prayer of thanks to God for sending his son to teach and to guide and for the mission he fulfilled. As your heart goes up to God so will your hand reach out to man and you too will be a conduit of the giver. And as you receive thanks for the work of your hands, remember it is he who made the difference, and the thanks and the praise belong to him; and so to him express your gratitude.

Lt. Leslie Cyr is an officer in the Salvation Army at 661 Colorado St. For more information, go to


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