My dear friend Aisha is a hijabi - a Muslim woman who wears a hijab to keep her hair covered when she’s in public. She is also remarkably generous. For example, this Thanksgiving she hosted 70 people, only four of whom were family, in her home for dinner. In addition to the traditional turkey she also served leg of lamb and shish kabob so that all of her guests would feel at home.
Last year a local agency was short on donors to purchase Christmas gifts for families without the financial resources to buy presents themselves. A staff member knew Aisha and asked if she could help out, and in her characteristic generosity she said yes. With two bags of gaily wrapped gifts in tow, she knocked at the door of the first family assigned to her. The door opened slowly and a woman peeked out. On seeing Aisha she seemed confused. Very confused.
Aisha piped up with a cheery “Merry Christmas!” which seemed to puzzle the woman even more. After a brief but awkward silence, Aisha lifted the bags of gifts toward her. “These are for you and your family. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!”
The woman looked down at the bags in her hand, and then back up at Aisha’s smiling face. After a long pause she asked, “Do you know what Christmas is?”
Aisha assured her there was no mistake and that in fact Muslims have great reverence for Jesus. The woman slowly accepted the bags and thanked Aisha. Then she turned toward the excited children gathering behind her and gently closed the door.
Wise ones came from the East
following the star and bearing gifts.
And they called his name “Emmanuel,”
which means “God with us.”