A Christmas To Remember
This is a first-person account from a mother about her family as they ate dinner on Christmas Day in a small restaurant many miles from their home. Nancy, the mother, relates:
We were the only family with children in the restaurant. I sat Erik in a high chair and noticed everyone was quietly eating and talking. Suddenly, Erik squealed with glee. He pounded his fat baby hands on the high-chair tray. His eyes were wide with excitement and his mouth was bared in a toothless grin. He wriggled and giggled with merriment.
I looked around and saw the source of his merriment. It was a man with a tattered rag of a coat; dirty, greasy and worn. His pants were baggy with a zipper at half-mast and his toes poked out of would-be shoes. His shirt was dirty and his hair was uncombed and unwashed. His whiskers were too short to be called a beard and nose was so varicose it looked like a road map.
We were too far from him to smell, but I was sure he smelled. His hands waved and flapped on loose wrists. “Hi there, baby; hi there, big boy. I see ya, buster,” the man said to Erik.
My husband and I exchanged looks, “What do we do?” Erik continued to laugh. Everyone in the restaurant noticed and looked at us and then at the man. The old geezer was creating a nuisance with my beautiful baby.
Our meal came and the man began shouting from across the room, “Do ya know patty cake? Do you know peek-a-boo? Hey, look, he knows peek-a-boo.”
Nobody thought he old man was cute. He was obviously drunk. My husband and I were embarrassed. We ate in silence; all except for Erik, who was running through his repertoire for the admiring skid-row bum, who in turn, reciprocated with his cute comments.
We finally got through the meal and headed for the door. My husband went to pay the check and told me to meet him in the parking lot. The old man sat poised between me and the door. “Lord, just let me out of here before he speaks to me or Erik,” I prayed. As I drew closer to the man, I turned my back trying to side-step him and avoid any air he might be breathing. As I did, Erik leaned over my arm, reaching with both arms in a baby’s pick-me-up, position. Before I could stop him, Erik had propelled himself from my arms to the man’s.
Suddenly a very old smelly man and a very young baby consummated their love relationship. Erik in an act of total trust, love and submission laid his tiny head upon the man’s ragged shoulder. The man’s eyes closed, and I saw tears hover beneath his lashes. His aged hands full of grime, pain and hard labor — gently, so gently cradled my baby’s bottom and stroked his back.
No two beings have ever loved so deeply for so short a time. I stood awestruck. The old man rocked and cradled Erik in his arms for a moment, and then his eyes opened and set squarely on mine. He said in a firm commanding voice, “You take care of this baby.” Somehow I managed, “I will,” from a throat that contained a stone. He pried Erik from his chest unwillingly, longingly, as though he were in pain. I received my baby, and the man said, “God bless you ma’am, you’ve given me my Christmas gift.”
I said nothing more than a muttered thanks. With Erik in my arms, I ran for the car. My husband was wondering why I was crying and holding Erik so tightly, and why I was saying, “My God, my God, forgive me.” I had just witnessed Christ’s love shown through the innocence of a tiny child who saw no sin, who made no judgment; a child who saw a soul, and a mother who saw a suit of clothes.
I was a Christian who was blind, holding a child who was not. I felt it was God asking — “Are you willing to share your son for a moment?”, when He shared His son for all eternity. The ragged old man, unwittingly, had reminded me, “To enter the Kingdom of God, we must become as little children.”
Christmas In Heaven
Christmas is coming soon. For many of us, though, the Christmas joy will be mixed with a sadness that some of our loved ones will not be with us this year. I know that I will certainly miss my loved ones who are not here. I have the inward joy of knowing that the only thing that separates us is time; that the day will come when we will be re-united again.
But, right now, I want to bring encouragement to you just as this following poem has brought encouragement to me. For us who believe in the truth of Christmas, the following poem is total truth. Just think of this poem as your Loved One’s poem to you. So, here is “In memory of those we miss at Christmas…. Christmas in Heaven”
“I see the countless Christmas trees around the world below with tiny lights, like Heaven’s stars reflecting on the snow. The light is so spectacular.
Please wipe away the tears for I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.
I hear many of the Christmas songs That people hold so dear.
But the sounds of music can’t compare with Christmas songs up here.
I have no words to tell you the joy their voices bring,
for it is beyond description to hear the angels sing.
I see how much you miss me I see the pain in your heart.
I’m not so far away. We really aren’t apart.
So be happy for me, precious ones. You know I hold you dear.
Be glad that I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.
I send you each a special gift from my heavenly home above.
I sent you each a memory of my undying love.
After all, love is a gift more precious than pure gold.
It is always most important in the stories that Jesus told.
Please love and keep each other as my father said to do.
For I cannot count the blessings or love He has for each of you.
So have a Merry Christmas and wipe away that tear.
Remember that I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this Year.”
Celebrating birthdays this week are Victoria Davis on Thursday, Dec. 13; Jim Maness and Tyronne Cohen on Friday, Dec. 14; John Lancaster and Marlene Whitehead on Saturday, Dec. 15; Joni Farmer and Briti Ward on Wednesday, Dec. 19.
These are very special people and I hope that you will honor them on their birthday… HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Andy and Alyssa on the birth of their beautiful new daughter, Harmony Stafford. She weighed 6 pounds 8 ounces and was 20 inches long. Congratulations, Andy and Alyssa
Let’s Keep In Our Prayers
Tommy Moore, son of Don and Ann Moore, who was recently diagnosed with cancer. Doctors say they expect full recovery; Don Moore is in Oakmont Rehabilitation recovering from problems with his heart; Connie Burgess as she undergoes chemo treatments; Jett Henderson over the death of his best friend, Luke; Dean Brown (Brown’s Roofing) is in Augusta Burn Center.
to my dear friends, Billy and Sherri Kidd, as they celebrate their 6th wedding anniversary on Sunday, Dec. 16. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, BILLY AND SHERRI
Thought Of The Week
“He who has no Christmas in his heart will never find Christmas under a tree.”
If You Have Good News
Email me at email@example.com, call me at 864-424-9211, mail me at POB 128, Buffalo. Until next week, may God bless you richly.