It’s the simple gifts that matter

by Rhonda S. Hunnicutt, RN, Wesley Nurse

At our previous Wesley Nurse forum, we had a wonderful group of presenters from Living Compass, a Christian-based program that integrates faith and wellness. Their message was about simplicity. Simplicity is a concept I am trying to embrace; it's a challenge, but I continuously try to work at it. With Christmas approaching, my family and I have been focusing more on the reason for the season, Christ's birthday. Also, instead of traditional gifts, we're giving each other the gift of time, as everyone is busy these days. I'm equally reminded of how precious our time is with loved ones and dear friends. A friend of mine recently lost her battle with cancer, she was only in her early 60s. I was able to spend a few final minutes with her, sometimes just filling the time with silence, but it was understood just how much that time meant.

When I was at the Luling Area Ministerial Alliance Food Bank recently, the thoughts flooded over me again about how much we have that we sometimes take for granted. I had packed some items to donate to the food bank's clients, and at the last minute thought to add some jump ropes to my bag. While I was there, a mom with a little girl around four years old came in. Even though I thought she may be a little young for it, I asked the girl if she'd like a jump rope. Her eyes lit up, and she ever so politely said, "Thank you, I've always wanted a jump rope." It was evident that this simple gift meant so much to her. I had to fight back tears. As the little girl left, she wished me a Merry Christmas. I think it was the most special Christmas wish I will ever remember!

This simple gift required such little effort on my part, but meant the world to one little girl. As we go through the rest of the Christmas season and into the next year, I hope this story resonates with you as it touched me, so that not just at Christmas but all year long, we can look past a person's surface and see that there is more than meets the eye to everyone we see. Everyone has a story. When you see a downtrodden person walking down the street, what are your thoughts or actions? The grumpy man in the grocery store – do we stop to find out that his wife passed away last year, and that this is a hard time of year for him? Or the quiet person on the sidewalk – do we stop to find out if this person is perhaps a veteran who is now battling mental health issues due to post-traumatic stress disorder? Is he or she suffering in silence, longing for just a moment of eye contact and a simple "hello?"

We can give such simple gifts that mean so much to someone else without it costing anything but our time. Until next time, be well and be blessed.

Rhonda Hunnicutt, RN, is a Wesley Nurse with Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc. Methodist Healthcare Ministries' Wesley Nurse program is a faith-based, holistic health and wellness program committed to serving the least served through education, health promotion and collaboration with individual and community in achieving improved wellness through self-empowerment. Learn more at