Stretch Out Your Hand — and Heart

Written by Sister KarenJo Pandone on Thursday, December 17, 2015. Posted in Special Series

Stretch Out Your Hand — and Heart

Today's post is part of a special series of Christmas articles. Each writer was given a photo and tasked with writing a spiritually minded article inspired by that image.

This picture immediately brings my life and the way I was brought up to mind. It’s the Reason for the Season!

For many years as a child, I spent the Sunday before Christmas with my parents on the Muncey Reservation in Ontario, Canada and the San Carlos Apache reservation in Arizona. The weeks leading up to Christmas Sunday were busy with planning the program, getting gifts for all the kids who attended Sunday school throughout the year, and preparing a Christmas dinner for all who entered the doors of the church that day.

Muncey was the place where I saw my first miracle happen right in front of me. Click here to read all about it!

Scenes like the one in my photo shaped my life in every aspect, not just at Christmas. For example, in later years, my involvement with the Inner City work in Detroit, Michigan meant that reaching out to others became an everyday occurrence within our family.

I saw the Lord move in a woman’s life who had nothing but who spent her last days on earth in the warmth of hospice care because the head of that hospice center just “happened” to be in the ER when we brought her in late one Wednesday night. I never realized this miracle until after her life was over and I was talking to a social worker who asked how she came to be in this particular hospice facility. When I told her the story of that Wednesday night, mentioning the doctor’s name who made the arrangements, she couldn’t believe what she'd heard. She said, “That doctor is never in the ER — He’s the head of that hospice center!”

Matthew 25:40, "And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

So, as we go about our busy days and nights at Christmas and throughout the year, let's remember this picture and seek out those who need the touch of the Master’s hand. You never know when your simple act of kindness can change a person’s life.

Editor's Note: Post a comment below to share a special memory, testimony, or experience that relates to the theme of Christmas Giving — let's inspire each other's hearts for the poor and needy.

This article has undergone ministry review and approval.

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Comments (5)

  • Sharon Sloan

    Sharon Sloan

    17 December 2015 at 00:13 |
    God inspires the human heart and mind to be thankful for the many blessings he has in his storehouse. Thank you for sharing this experience. It's not only a Christmas experience but a life changing one.


  • Linda Scolaro

    Linda Scolaro

    17 December 2015 at 08:19 |
    Beautiful words, Karen. I teach in a very low socioeconomic school. I have never seen poverty like I see every day. One of my students is homeless, and his family is on a waiting list for a shelter. Another teacher bought him a warm jacket. I complimented him on his jacket, and he told me he shared it with his mother that morning as they stood outside on the bus stop because she was cold. I try my best to be a bright light to these beautiful children who are among the least of these, not by choice. but by circumstance.


  • Anonymous


    17 December 2015 at 09:08 |
    Wonderful blog! I was so blessed to grow up in a home where I saw my parents live daily sharing all that we had, and at times it was not much, with any one in need. At the holidays, our home an table was always full, sharing what we had with with those who may have been alone and had needs. While doing this they were sharing the love of God and the Gospel. I am ever so grateful for the Godly example they left me that if we love God, we reach out our hand in blessing to others.


  • Sister Josie Jasmin

    Sister Josie Jasmin

    17 December 2015 at 11:27 |
    Beautiful article and i am reminded that we must love God above all and our neighbors as ourselves. even love our enemies.
    Praise God from whom all blessings come.


  • Sister Michelle Watson

    Sister Michelle Watson

    17 December 2015 at 12:52 |
    I remember the first time I went with brothers and sisters from my branch to help put on a "Christmas" for a needy mission, handing out toys, clothes, and food to the families from the church and the neighborhood. I was 13 years old, I think, and it made a big impact on me. It helped me put things in perspective at a time of life when I was naturally very self-centered.


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