Yesterday, I stood with 95 year old GRACIE whom I was 'parking' back in her nursing home room in her wheelchair. We'd just finished singing hymns and Christmas songs together with others down the hall. Somehow, I could tell I needed to stay with her a little while longer. (I'd been told she'd been a little cranky earlier- very unusual for her.) At that moment, I realized I was wearing a medium/small sleigh bell attached to the necklace chain I wear a cross on. I definitely knew I was meant to give that bell to this dear lady. As I freed it, she asked what I was doing. I said I was going to give her the bell. To my utter surprise, she basically broke down bawling.. deep, deep sobs and lots of tears. I couldn't leave her for more than 5 more minutes. Why the tears? In her words, "You are giving this to me? Someone really cares if I live or die.. I feel so lonely all of the time.., etc." I assured her that her daughters do come see her because I've met them throughout the 7 years I've known Gracie. My heart just about broke though as I hugged her during these emotionally cathartic moments. Actually, I counted myself blessed to be the one who got to be there for her. It made me wonder just how many times we are feeling deprived of something we think we need when, in truth, our Lord Jesus IS there (here) for us at ALL times! His deepest desire is to be the ONE who shares all of those special moments with us. HE is the one who can/does 'ring my bell!' That particular bell I gave to Gracie, had been given to me yesterday with a note attached which said, "Ring the bell of joy." (referring to this Christmas season) Of course, I always emphasize how true JOY (as well as true PEACE and HOPE) can ONLY come from our LORD JESUS CHRIST as He is welcome to dwell within our beings! So, dear readers.. "Come on, ring those bells!-- Light the Christmas tree.. Jesus IS the KING, born for you and me!"(opening line of a favorite Christmas song of mine..) It's our JOY to share HIM with all those around us as well as with ourselves! The Joy of the LORD is my strength!