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Thursday, May 5, 2016

The hands, feet and heart of the season

Saturday, December 1, 2012

As a follow-up to my less than stellar follow-up to the mob mentality and less than Christian behavior exhibited in Spencer on Thursday night and Black Friday; allow me to report some fine examples of Christ's work here on earth that are fantastic signs of the Christmas season.

In New York, a police officer discovered a homeless man in the street - something which in The Big Apple is a regular part of the city landscape - sitting against a building in the cold with no shoes on his feet. Lawrence DePrimo spoke to the man, and took it upon himself to go purchase the man some shoes and socks. Then, rather than hand the man gifts and walk away, he took the time to kneel down and place them on the gentleman's cold, dirty feet.

The act of kindness was way beyond what many people - who pass by the lost soul on a daily basis without offering a kind word or more than a disgruntled passing glance - would have done. But then to stop and place the items on the man's body, that is the ultimate Christ-like act.

I'm sure this scene would have remained between the two men and a few who passed by, perhaps wondering why the officer wasn't chasing the bum off the public sidewalk, but for the woman with the camera.

In the emotionally charged moment, Jennifer Foster caught the special exchange on camera. It's because of Foster we are made aware of one of the greatest Christmas stories I've heard in a long time play out on a New York City street.

DePrimo demonstrated God's unconditional love for his fellow man, something which shouldn't be relegated to the Christmas season, but something we should all do for our fellow man all year long.

Thank you Jennifer Foster for capturing this perfect "Christmas card" moment and allowing us to share it.

Also in New York, a wealthy Missouri man posing as "Secret Santa" stunned New Yorkers Thursday when he began handing $100 bills to many in Staten Island who had lost everything to Superstorm Sandy.

The Kansas City businessman, who wished to remain anonymous, is reportedly giving away $100,000 this holiday season. He called the gesture a "random act of kindness" and hopes that his example would trigger similar behaviors by those capable across the country.

Another perfect example of someone choosing to put others before self - one of Christ's calls for humanity.

Closer to home, I've watched 80 families disappear from our annual Holiday Family Adoption program in the Daily Reporter. One-by-one the names have dropped off the list as phone calls have poured in for a chance to purchase gifts for families this Christmas season.

The program itself is run in conjunction with Upper Des Moines Opportunity with assistance from Spencer Rotary, UPS staff and volunteer members of the Spencer Fire Department who help load and deliver the gifts to the families.

What makes this project so wonderful is the willingness of participants who purchase gifts for random strangers to meet their needs.

Seeing the goodness in the project, the newsroom staff decided last year, instead of getting gifts for each other, we would pool our money and adopt a family. This year we adopted three and look forward to completing the shopping and wrapping the gifts. We hope these small tokens of our love for the people of Spencer will be received with rich blessings.

Many other local programs - the Kiwanis' shopping for children's clothing, the Jaycees Tree of Joy, the Dream Center's toy and food basket distributions - demonstrate the true meaning of Christmas, and allow their volunteers the opportunity to be Christ's hands, feet and heart here on earth.

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Randy Cauthron
One Man's Perspective