With Christmas season upon us, my first thought for this blog was to plug in one of my favorite carols ‘Good King Wenceslas’. I reconsidered when the thought of the countless persons who may not be in a position where they have joy bubbling up from within, and not experiencing that ‘Christmas spirit’ came to mind. I then settled with a year round favorite ‘What A Wonderful World’. To me, this 1970 version of the song carries the same message of love, peace, and giving of ones bounty … while spoken and sang in a majestic way, by Louis Armstrong. If you have not yet listened to this masterpiece, please take the time to do so. Enjoy the lyrics, while allowing this positive message to resound within your soul.
2012 brought with it numerous disasters worldwide, along with the economy being in the state of affairs it is in. With so many picking up the pieces of their shattered lives, the amazing power of love and giving was witnessed globally on a daily basis, while countless gave of their time / lives in rescue operations and missions of goodwill to all they were able to reach in time. With that considered, the true ‘Christmas Spirit’ shone throughout the world 24/7 – other than the one day of the year that has been designated and accepted by countless, as the birth day of Jesus. More information is available, at the end of my Christmas story, concerning the actual day of the ‘Christ’ [meaning 'The Annointed One'] child being born.
No matter the day you celebrate His birth, let it be a year round joy that sustains you through troubled times, and let 2013 ring in with a positive outlook, with faith that God will carry you through.
‘Inviting an Earth Angel to Dinner’
Christmas Day, Friday 25th of 1981, was the time this story is based on. As my Mom had ‘passed over’ in January of that year and me being a divorced mother shortly after, it had been a difficult year for my own personal dealings. With no support from the girl’s father or his relatives, my desire was for my children to lack for nothing on this first Christmas as a broken family unit.
The day was off to an early start, with Christina and Amy happily anticipating the gifts awaiting them. I remember how beautiful the day was, as we headed off to a special church service. There was a fresh light blanket of snow that fell the night before, making that crunching sound with each step taken. It was a mild winter day, and the small building was packed with people. There were the regular attendees, along with family who were in visiting from a distance. At the end of the service, everyone was confirming that others had their Christmas Day plans in place, making sure no family was left behind or anyone neglected and on their own. With a brief time of fellowship after the service, the girls and I began our short journey home.
The girls skipped, hopped and slid along the sidewalk, as my mind was focused on keeping my balance and getting home to tend to the turkey I had placed in the oven before the morning service. With exchanged laughter and excitement to reach home, I was looking about the neighborhood and feeling at such peace. I remembered my neighbour, Sharon, had mentioned that she and her family were going to her sisters for Christmas. I took this opportunity to call on Frank, her boarder, and asked if he would like to join the girls and me for dinner. He accepted.
We scurried the few doors down to our home, and while the girls enjoyed the gifts they had received, I continued to prepare for dinner. When Frank arrived he joined me in the kitchen, while I finished with last minute details before the need of interrupting the girls from their play time came. As we spoke, he opened up and shared some of his past with me.
As a former pharmacist, he had lost his job and his wife left him, due to alcoholism and prescription drug addiction. After months in rehabilitation, he was preparing to put the past where it belonged and had applied for employment in another province. We spoke about prescription drugs, and how so much was being prescribed unnecessarily. Masking the symptons with pills, rather than getting to the root of the issue and dealing with the cause of the problem in more healthy and natural ways, was not being promoted or dealt with. He witnessed this on a daily basis when dispensing drugs, and now planned on using his experience to educate people about the harmful use and abuse of addictive medications.
When all was ready we sat together and gave grace and thanksgiving for the meal we were sitting down to, which included all the trimmings I had grown to know and appreciate during various homestead celebrations. Our guest then proceeded to carve the turkey. The meal was a success, with much chattering and excitement from the girls being exhanged with us. I felt blessed to share this time with a new friend, and acquaintance in need.
Within that thought, sudden horror took over as I saw Christina gagging and turning pale. A turkey bone had lodged in her throat, and she was showing signs of extreme distress. In seconds, it seemed as though hundreds of thoughts raced through my head. I didn’t know CPR, and the ambulance station was around the corner. Could I scoop her up and run for assistance, in time to save her ? Would phoning 911 be a fatal delay for my daughter ? I was to my feet and at the phone ready to give Frank last minute instructions, when within seconds my panic would be subdued as things took on another course of action.
Frank took over. After quick approval from me he took my daughter from her chair – once he checked her mouth with his finger to see if he could dislodge the bone from her throat. He laid her across his knee, with her stomach being the leverage point. Putting pressure on her lower back with his left hand, he gave a few good thrushes to her chest area with his right one and the bone flew out to the floor. She began breathing normally again, after a short coughing spell. I began to cry and told Frank that he had just blessed me with the best Christmas gift I had ever received from anyone.
After dinner and dishes were done, Frank said his farewell and departed. I did not see him again, as he was hired for a job in another province, within the week. He had slipped away before I was able to formally thank him, and he left no forwarding address. Nor did he want anyone he had connected with knowing where he went. He would have to remain my unsung hero, in his request for privacy. The man wanted to get on with his life, not wanting his past to follow him in an attempt to drag him down again.
Sharon told me that he wanted to break off all ties with people in the city, who would not let him forget or live down his past mistakes. Understandable, as God knows and throws our sin into a ‘Sea of Forgotten’ upon our sincere repentance, though peoples memories are not as forgiving. To continue to ask forgiveness for the same thing over and over again, is like a broken record and definitely not helping one move forward with the mission in life that they were born to fulfill, during their earth journey.
This includes our youth who have had their life cut short, whether the cause was avoidable or not. In many cases they were here for a season to bless us, and teach us valuable lessons in life. There are clear instructions in The Book of Proverbs on what God thinks of such persons who will not forgive, while spreading gossip and continually holding people to their past shortcomings and failures, for those who are interested in reading more about this fact of life.
Forgiveness is a true necessity in life, as there is scripture that states that what we bind on earth, is bound in heaven … while what we let go of on earth is freed in heaven. In other words ‘Let go and let God deal with those who have hurt us’, so our Heavenly Father is able to work out ‘His Master Plan’ for their life, as well as yours. This is not necessarily an overnight transformation, and may be a daily process that takes time, though a necessitity to draw closer to God. If we don’t, bitterness becomes the horrid pill we swallow each morning, which causes many ill side effects. Grief also needs to be overcome, as it can paralyze a person from moving forward, if it dwells within for too long.
For all who believe in the purpose of the Christ Jesus coming into this world and need a refresher course on the topic, or you are totally new at this and have a zillion questions about what is being shared here, the Book of Luke is a good place to start. The Book[s] of Matthew, Mark and John also give wonderful accounts to that glorious night of His Holy birth, and the greatest gift given to this world and mankind, from God. With the angel and messenger Gabriel appearing to Mary before conception, then unto Joseph in a dream … the story just begins; as right after His birth a multitude of angels appeared to shepherds watching their flocks in fields, to announce the long anticipated birth of Jesus.
In studies, I have for many years now been questioning the day stated as the Christ Jesus birthdate, and found the following information to be the best research of information yet given.
“Few know that there is a biblical way to determine when the Messiah was actually born. We can do this by relating the conception and birth of Jesus (Yeshua) with the conception and birth of John the Baptist.” as stated by Bryan T. Huie.
You can research and follow up on the truth behind Christmas, at: http://www.herealittletherealittle.net/index.cfm?page_name=Jesus-Birthday.
From the TCWC Team, our Christmas prayer for you is:
For each one reading this message, may you be able to shake off any feelings of fear, abandonment or isolation and loneliness … while reaching out to those who care about your well being. Allow others to help you to continue in the right direction of enlightenment, after walking with you for a time. It is with hope that you come to understand that Jesus loves and accepts you unconditionally right where you are, and will not reject anyone who calls out to Him. Believe that over time, while growing in Him … changes will occur in a positive way, as He will give you strength to battle the storms of life. May God’s Holy Spirit overshadow your life, on to the day you choose to allow Jesus into your heart and home, to dwell with you throughout eternity. It is truly the most precious gift in life that anyone could possibly ever receive.
Have a Merry Christmas’ each and every day of your life. Until my next blog, keep well, and ‘Beware of how you treat a stranger, least you be entertaining an angel’.