He laid on his back and twisted one way, then the next … struggling to find a seemingly comfortable position amidst the dirt and gravel that was part of his ‘work station’. A scrawny looking fellow, with gray hairs at his temples, and badly in need of a dental bridge. He knew I was coming to see him, but expressed displeasure that I had arrived while he was in the middle of having his ‘drink’ at the nearby bar. Yet, despite his unassuming appearance, his skills as a mechanic/electrician [whether drunk or sober] were legendary and I had eagerly sought him out to fix a problem on my old car.
As the evening waned and the natural light faded, he struggled some more to connect the wires beneath the dashboard, as he tried to fix the problem with my brake lights. Having little success, he asked to borrow the flashlight on my phone … and then he said the most amazing thing I’ve heard in a long while: “Oh what a difference a light can make!”
My Spirit leaped within me, because my thoughts went beyond just his literal ability to now SEE what he was doing and effectively complete his task … to the spiritual realm. Isn’t this what Jesus represents as He came into the world? (John 8:12)
Unknown to him, I moved away slightly and started praising God in my spirit and marvelled at how the Lord can touch us and remind us of His relevance and presence, even in the simplest things.
It was a poignant reminder too, and timely, even as we celebrate His birth … His entrance into the earthly world — so that He may be our Light and that we may have Life ‘more abundantly’.
I confess that, as I grow older, I have mixed feelings about Christmas. Yes, arguably, it is still my favourite time of the year … but not for the same reasons as before. I have long ceased to put up the Christmas tree and lights at my home. And, since I live alone, I hardly do the cooking and the baking that (yes) I once did. But, I still look forward to greeting people that I hardly know … [met a charming old man under his “whites” yesterday, who shook my hand and blessed me with his greetings – all because he remembers that that’s what he was taught to do as a child *smile*] … and I think more of my family and loved ones.
This can be a stressful period for some too. Those with little money to buy the presents they wish to give; the ones who have lost loved ones who were a special part of this time for them; those who are alone – though possessing all that they materially want or need; and those – maybe like me – who reminisce on time past when Christmas was more about the smiles and the greetings and the love that we shared as a family, community, and as a country.
I think perhaps, the Grinch was right when he “puzzled and puzzled till his puzzler was sore. Then [he] thought of something he hadn’t before. Maybe Christmas … doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps … means a little bit more!”
And that’s my challenge to you today! As you go through the merriments … sharing time, food and love with family and friends. Perhaps you could spare a moment, a thought, a gesture for those less fortunate. Wave a greeting to your neighbour … yes, that same one you haven’t spoken to in a while because of some silly misunderstanding – the details of which you can’t even remember. Call a family member that you haven’t spoken to in a while. Take a meal to that elderly man or woman whose children didn’t bother to stop by for Christmas. There are so many little things that you can do that won’t cost you much … except your time and a heart that cares.
And when you’re finished, remember that Christ is the reason for this season. Yes, the debate continues on whether this was the actual time of His birth … but the essence of the season is that HE CAME! He came to bring light to a dark world; to give hope to the hopeless; and to bring Salvation to all who seek it.
Will you help to share and spread His light today?
Merry Christmas to you and yours and may you have a blessed and prosperous 2015.
Walk good, ’til next time …