We are in the final days of the Angel Tree.
Honestly, the tree looks pretty grim right now. There are far too many babes sitting at the $500.00 mark and not enough babes over the $1,000.00 wall.
Most importantly, from my perspective, the yelling and sharing for all the babes has just not been as spirited this year as in past years.
Last night one of the Angel Tree Warriors was sharing their sorrow that all their efforts to get their babe over the wall had fallen short. Despair was taking over.
It's a slimy pit that is quick to drown us if we are not careful.
We care so much. We hurt so deeply. We hope so hard.
Just taking the time to scroll through all the faces on the Angel Tree is all it takes for the tentacles of despair to reach out and pull you in. Clicking further into the Reece's Rainbow website and realizing that only a tiny portion of the children on the website are on the Angel Tree is an even harder pill to swallow.
The need is so great.
The families seem so few.
Getting all the children over the $1,000 wall is a worthy goal. It makes a statement to a future family that their child has value. Someone cared enough to sow some seed money into that child's life.
Looking back, I love that both my children had people fighting for them. Aaron had close to $1,000 in his grant account and John had over $3,000.
And both boys had people yelling for them. Aaron had a yelling warrior whose shouts were so loud that we could hear them all the way to our little house in the woods. She was just a college student with no money and no job. But she cared. Deeply. She yelled. She blogged. She yelled some more. She was crazy yelling for a little boy who had been transferred to a mental institute. And we heard. God used her yelling to penetrate deep into our hearts.
John also had his yelling warriors. Families met him at his orphanage and they came out shouting.
It wasn't just yelling though.
It was the prayers of the saints.
I can't tell you how many people shared with us after we committed to both Aaron and John that they had been praying for our boys.
People saw their pictures and read their profiles and committed to praying for our boys.
Those prayers went straight to the throne of God and He heard and He moved in our hearts.
Both boys were covered, drenched in prayers.
The sweet, tender, loving prayers of the saints.
The Angel Tree ends on Thursday night.
On Friday we will begin a New Year and the 160+ babes on the tree will go back to just being another picture on the Reece's Rainbow website. They will again be just one of many many many children longing for families.
Each of them have something special right now. They are being seen across the country. They have people raising money for them. They have people yelling for them. And most importantly, they have people praying for them.
On Friday, raising the money will most likely stop. And the yelling will die down. But the prayers. The prayers of the saints.
They cannot stop.
It is through prayer that hearts are touched.
I've seen it time and again.
I can't raise money for every child. I can't advocate for every family. Picking one child means ignoring hundreds more. Picking one family in process means ignoring the rest.
I could despair.
I could slip into a slimy pit of despair and throw in the towel believing that my pitiful attempts are not good enough.
It would be easy.
The need is too great and the families are not enough.
Or I could pray.
I could pray and I do pray because I know that prayer is the biggest heart mover of them all.
I've witnessed the power of that prayer enough times in these last six years to believe that prayer is the mightiest weapon we have against despair. It is powerful and penetrating and heart-changing.
So these next three days and into the New Year I'm just going to continue to do what I have been doing for the last six years since stumbling upon Reece's Rainbow. I'm going to yell, raise money and pray.
And I'm going to believe that my efforts - no matter how small and insignificant - they matter.
Join me. Please.
Yell for the babes over the next few days. Share them on your blogs. Put them on your Facebook pages. E-mail their pictures to your friends and neighbors. You never know who is going to be touched by the simple act of sharing. Who knows. It might even be you.
Give to them so that the financial burden for their forever families is eased a bit. Don't despair at the enormity of the need. If everyone gave a little then we could chip away at the mountain and move more children over the wall.
Most importantly... PRAY FOR THEM. Pick a child. Put their picture on your fridge. Use it as a bookmark in your Bible. Put it on the background of your desktop. Each time you see it pray. Pray some more.
Yell. Give. Pray.
A simple formula to ward off despair.
There are currently 135 babes under $1,000 on the Angel Tree.
I'm excited to see how many babes jump the wall by Thursday night.
Each one over is a VICTORY! Each time one jumps their Warrior will be shouting Hurrah!
And the rest of us will be cheering right beside them!
Yell. Give. Pray.