There is something magical about Christmas time and marketers know it. John Lewis and Sainsbury captured the magic brilliantly and leveraged on it so well in their brand storytelling effort this year. 🙂

There are some good stories we hear and truly revel in for a moment. Perhaps we go out and buy a Monty the Penguin.

There are other stories which are worth more than a moment’s tug of the heartstrings. These stories need to be preserved, kept, and passed down the generations.

One such story, special to me, is of a girl born on Christmas Eve nearly 150 years ago in the little town of Vineland, New Jersey.

Annie Johnson Flint was born in 1866. She lost her parents at an early age. She and her sister were later adopted by the Flints, a kind and loving couple who brought Annie up in the Baptist faith.

Annie went through long times of trial and testing. In her second year as a teacher, arthritis began to show itself, growing steadily worse. She ended up crippled for more than 40 years (see here).

But Annie did not consider herself helpless. She believed that God had laid her aside for a purpose, even though that purpose was obscure to her at times. She put her very best into the writing of her poems, rendering this ministry unto God.

Her verses have an unusually deep appeal to human hearts. The simple reason is that she felt what she wrote.

One of her most popular songs which has endured till today is He Giveth More Grace:

Out of the crucible of suffering she was able to speak comfort to others, with the comfort she received from God.

Her life sings a beautiful song: “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”

Merry Christmas.