February, the month of love! There are so many kinds of love in the world. For me, the purest love is that for my grandchildren. My husband and I recently moved from Pasadena to Denver. Our son and youngest daughter and their families live there and, much to our surprise, our older daughter and family decided to relocate there too! Now we have the whole family together again and what a lovely change it has been.
When we used to visit Denver, the kids would pull me down to the basement to play for hours on end. I would listen to the adults having a great time upstairs and thought, at the very least, they could bring me a drink. However, I would never trade those times when I played fireman, fort, pillow avalanche, paw patrol, hide and seek and monster…over and over and over again. Pure love! I still play a lot but the kids now know that when “P” leaves, they will see her again very soon. Watching them just be, is my greatest joy!
Then there is the love we have for our pets. I have two dogs. Anyone with pets knows that this type of love is unconditional. We forgive their indiscretions (at least I do…my husband not as much). We put up with the occasional accident in the house, the chewing of our favorite plant, shoe or, in my case, glasses. Pets help us to look beyond ourselves. They allow us quiet time; sitting with no conversation. Just being in the moment. And when returning home after being gone, we are met with wagging tails along with an exuberance that says “You are forgiven for leaving my sight. We can now get back to just hanging together”.
As Christ Child members, we are familiar with, probably, the greatest love of all. Mary Virginia Merrick’s love and devotion to the Christ Child is ever present in our mission and day to day service to the children and families in our communities. I envy her unwavering passion.
According to our NCCS historian, Patty Myler, “Her faith led her to charitable and social reform efforts which began in 1884, when she was 18, and then to her founding the Christ Child Society in 1887, at the age of 21. The Society operates today as a national organization with Chapters in cities across the United States and has operated, uninterrupted, for over 133 years, a living testimony to the work she began and personally led for 68 years. Under her leadership, the Society grew from her personal charitable work to a local charitable operation in Washington D.C., and then into a national network of Chapters - all serving children in need. During her lifetime, and in her death, she has inspired thousands of women and men to serve children and families in need through their personal service.”
Over the years, 72 communities have benefited from the work of Christ Child members. If we add up the years of service from all past and present NCCS chapters, we have provided an equivalent of 3,191 years of service. That is some really heavy-duty love!
May we go beyond this month of love and follow in Mary Virginia Merrick’s footsteps, where we strive to see the Christ Child in every child and bring hope and love to all we serve.
National Christ Child Society