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On A Cold Christmas Eve (2)

On A Cold Christmas Eve (2)

The officer laughed and winced at the same time. The front door of the office flew open. In burst a young man with a gun.

“Give me all your cash! Do it now!” the young man yelled. His hand was shaking and George could tell that he had never done anything like this before.

“That’s the guy that shot me!” exclaimed the officer.

“Son, why are you doing this?” asked George. “You need to put the cannon away. Somebody else might get hurt.”

The young man was confused. “Shut up old man, or I’ll shoot you, too. Now give me the cash!” The cop was reaching for his gun.

“Put that thing away,” George said to the cop. “We got one too many in here now.”

He turned his attention to the young man. “Son, it’s Christmas Eve. If you need the money, well then, here. It ain’t much but it’s all I got. Now put that pee shooter away.”

George pulled $150 out of his pocket and handed it to the young man, reaching for the barrel of the gun at the same time. The young man released his grip on the gun, fell to his knees and began to cry.

“I’m not very good at this, am I? All I wanted was to buy something for my wife and son,” he went on. “I’ve lost my job. My rent is due. My car got repossessed last week…”

George handed the gun to the cop. “Son, we all get in a bit of squeeze now and then. The road gets hard sometimes, but we make it through the best we can.”

He got the young man to his feet, and sat him down on a chair across from the cop. “Sometimes we do stupid things.” George handed the young man a cup of coffee. “Being stupid is one of the things that makes us human. Comin’ in here with a gun ain’t the answer. Now sit there and get warm and we’ll sort this thing out.”

The young man had stopped crying. He looked over to the cop. “Sorry I shot you. It just went off. I’m sorry, officer.”

“Shut up and drink your coffee.” the cop said.

George could hear the sounds of sirens outside. A police car and an ambulance skidded to a halt. Two cops came through the door, guns drawn.

“Chuck! You ok?” one of the cops asked the wounded officer.

“Not bad for a guy who took a bullet. How did you find me?”

“GPS locator in the car. Best thing since sliced bread. Who did this?” the other cop asked as he approached the young man.

Chuck answered him, “I don’t know. The guy ran off into the dark. Just dropped his gun and ran.”

George and the young man both looked puzzled at each other. “That guy works here,” the wounded cop continued.

“Yep,” George said. “Just hired him this morning. Boy lost his job.”

The paramedics came in and loaded Chuck onto the stretcher. The young man leaned over the wounded cop and whispered, “Why?”

Chuck just said, “Merry Christmas, boy. And you too, George, and thanks for everything.”

“Well, looks like you got one doozy of a break there. That ought to solve some of your problems.” George went into the back room and came out with a box. He pulled out a ring box.

“Here you go. Something for the little woman. I don’t think Martha would mind. She said it would come in handy some day.”

The young man looked inside to see the biggest diamond ring he ever saw. “I can’t take this,” said the young man. “It means something to you.”

“And now it means something to you,” replied George. “I got my memories. That’s all I need.”

George reached into the box again. A toy airplane, a racing car and a little metal truck appeared next. They were toys that the oil company had left for him to sell. “Here’s something for that little man of yours.”

The young man began to cry again as he handed back the $150 that the old man had handed him earlier. “And what are you supposed to buy Christmas dinner with? You keep that, too. Count it as part of your first week’s pay.” George said. “Now git home to your family.”

The young man turned with tears streaming down his face. “I’ll be here in the morning for work, if that job offer is still good.”

“Nope. I’m closed Christmas day,” George said. “See ya the day after.”

George turned around to find that the stranger had returned. “Where’d you come from? I thought you left?”

“I have been here. I have always been here,” said the stranger. “You say you don’t celebrate Christmas. Why?”

“Well, after my wife passed away I just couldn’t see what all the bother was. Puttin’ up a tree and all seemed a waste of a good pine tree. Bakin’ cookies like I used to with Martha just wasn’t the same by myself and besides I was getting a little chubby.”

The stranger put his hand on George’s shoulder. “But you do celebrate the holiday, George. You gave me food and drink and warmed me when I was cold and hungry. The woman with child will bear a son and he will become a great doctor.

The policeman you helped will go on to save 19 people from being killed by terrorists. The young man who tried to rob you will become a rich man and share his wealth with many people.

That is the spirit of the season and you keep it as good as any man.”

George was taken aback by all this stranger had said. “And how do you know all this?” asked the old man.

“Trust me, George. I have the inside track on this sort of thing. And when your days are done you will be with Martha again.” The stranger moved toward the door.

“If you will excuse me, George, I have to go now. I have to go home where there is a big celebration planned.”

George watched as the man’s old leather jacket and his torn pants turned into a white robe. A golden light began to fill the room.

“You see, George, it’s My birthday. Merry Christmas.”

— Author Unknown

Meditation: But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. – Luke 6:35

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

Also read:

On A Cold Christmas Eve

On A Cold Christmas Eve

The old man sat in his gas station on a cold Christmas Eve. He hadn’t been anywhere in years since his wife had passed away. He had no decorations, no tree, no lights. It was just another day to him. He didn’t hate Christmas, just couldn’t find a reason to celebrate. There were no children in his life. His wife had gone.

He was sitting there looking at the snow that had been falling for the last hour and wondering what it was all about when the door opened and a homeless man stepped through. Instead of throwing the man out, George, Old George as he was known by his customers, told the man to come and sit by the space heater and warm up.

“Thank you, but I don’t mean to intrude,” said the stranger. “I see you’re busy. I’ll just go.”

“Not without something hot in your belly,” George turned and opened a wide mouth Thermos and handed it to the stranger. “It ain’t much, but it’s hot and tasty. Stew. Made it myself. When you’re done there’s coffee and it’s fresh.”

Just at that moment, he heard the “ding” of the driveway bell. “Excuse me, be right back,” George said.

There in the driveway was an old 53 Chevy. Steam was rolling out of the front. The driver was panicked.

“Mister can you help me!” said the driver with a deep Spanish accent. “My wife is with child and my car is broken.”

George opened the hood. It was bad. The block looked cracked from the cold; the car was dead. “You ain’t going in this thing,” George said as he turned away.

“But mister. Please help….” The door of the office closed behind George as he went in. George went to the office wall and got the keys to his old truck, and went back outside. He walked around the building and opened the garage, started the truck and drove it around to where the couple was waiting.

“Here, you can borrow my truck,” he said. “She ain’t the best thing you ever looked at, but she runs real good.”

George helped put the woman in the truck and watched as it sped off into the night. George turned and walked back inside the office.

“Glad I loaned ‘em the truck. Their tires were shot too. That ‘ol truck has brand new tires…” George thought he was talking to the stranger, but the man had gone. The thermos was on the desk, empty with a used coffee cup beside it.

“Well, at least he got something in his belly,” George thought. George went back outside to see if the old Chevy would start. It cranked slowly, but it started. He pulled it into the garage where the truck had been. He thought he would tinker with it for something to do. Christmas Eve meant no customers. He discovered the block hadn’t cracked, it was just the bottom hose on the radiator.

“Well, I can fix this,” he said to himself. So he put a new one on. “Those tires ain’t gonna get ’em through the winter either.” He took the snow treads off of his wife’s old Lincoln. They were like new and he wasn’t going to drive the car.

As he was working he heard a shot being fired. He ran outside and beside a police car an officer lay on the cold ground. Bleeding from the left shoulder, the officer moaned, “Help me.” George helped the officer inside as he remembered the training he had received in the Army as a medic. He knew the wound needed attention.

“Pressure to stop the bleeding,” he thought. The laundry company had been there that morning and had left clean shop towels. He used those and duct tape to bind the wound.

“Hey, they say duct tape can fix anythin’,” he said, trying to make the policeman feel at ease. “Something for pain,” George thought. All he had was the pills he used for his back. “These ought to work.” He put some water in a cup and gave the policeman the pills.

“You hang in there. I’m going to get you an ambulance.” George said, but the phone was dead. “Maybe I can get one of your buddies on that there talk box out in your police car.”

He went out only to find that a bullet had gone into the dashboard destroying the two-way radio. He went back in to find the policeman sitting up.

“Thanks,” said the officer. “You could have left me there. The guy that shot me is still in the area.”

George sat down beside him. “I would never leave an injured man in the Army and I ain’t gonna leave you.” George pulled back the bandage to check for bleeding. “Looks worse than what it is. Bullet passed right through ‘ya. Good thing it missed the important stuff though. I think with time you’re gonna be right as rain.”

George got up and poured a cup of coffee. “How do you take it?” he asked.

“None for me,” said the officer. “Oh, yer gonna drink this. Best in the city.” Then George added: “Too bad I ain’t got no donuts.”

The officer laughed and winced at the same time. The front door of the office flew open. In burst a young man with a gun.

“Give me all your cash! Do it now!” the young man yelled. His hand was shaking and George could tell that he had never done anything like this before.

“That’s the guy that shot me!” exclaimed the officer.

“Son, why are you doing this?” asked George. “You need to put the cannon away. Somebody else might get hurt.”

The young man was confused. “Shut up old man, or I’ll shoot you, too. Now give me the cash!” The cop was reaching for his gun…

To continue tomorrow.

— Author Unknown

Meditation: But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. – Luke 6:35

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

Also read:

The Voice of Christmas

The Voice of Christmas

By Bob Perks

He had been a long time member of the church but refused to show up for services let alone join.

He was an integral part of the Christmas Choir, but would not attend rehearsals.

Still, everyone looked forward to seeing him once a year. So much, in fact, they would hold a seat for him at the candlelight service every Christmas Eve.

Many of the congregation would arrive early to get a good seat nearby the gentleman.

Was it his personality? No, he really kept to himself rarely sharing a word with anyone.

It was his voice. “Oh Holy Night” was his song.

Throughout his life, he often wished for the chance to perform it at a local church. Although the spirit of Christmas had left his heart years ago with the passing of his wife, this one song, those special lyrics, belonged to him.

It was said that it was her favorite song and although poor, the richness of his voice was his gift to her. This church, that night, was always theirs.

As the service progressed anticipation would build. Everyone joined in singing “Silent Night,” “O Little Town of Bethlehem” and others.

Then the big moment would arrive.

The choir would stand, the church organ would begin to play. “O holy night, the stars are brightly shining” was the intro sung by the 12-member choir. Then, as if Heaven had open its doors, the choir softly faded and the man began to sing…

“It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary soul rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.”

You could feel the excitement as the music began to build to the refrain…

“Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!”

By this time there was never a dry eye.

After the service, the man would blend into the crowd and exit the rear door. The tradition lived on until a month before Christmas that year. He had joined his love, his reason to sing.

“What will they do?” one of the elders asked. “Who could take his place?”

No one. No one would dare attempt to fill his spot. It would be difficult indeed to come close to that long treasured moment.

“We will do the song in his memory” the choir director declared.

“But who among us will sing his part?”

“God had blessed us with his voice and His earthly choir is not made of only one single voice,” he assured them. “He will bless us again.”

That Christmas Eve, as everyone filled the church, you could hear the choir warming up in the basement.

A small piano began playing followed by, “O holy night, the stars are brightly shining” then silence.

The minister began by welcoming everyone and in particular the visitors, “Family and friends who return home each year. In the center of the church you will notice a single seat holding a bouquet of Christmas flowers. It is in memory of a man we called, “The Voice of Christmas.”

The service began building to that very moment they all waited for. Lights dimmed and a young child holding a single candle in his hand walked toward the front.

The organist began the intro and the choir stood to sing, “O holy night, the stars are brightly shining..”

There was a sudden hush and the faint sound of one small voice singing…

“It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary soul rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.”

The organ stopped. The choir remained standing as everyone looked to see where the voice was coming from.

“Over there! I couldn’t believe it. That beautiful voice was the child. The child holding the candle.”

He slowly, nervously turned around toward the crowd and said, “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to…” and he began to cry.

The choir director rushed to his side and assured him everything was fine.

Then the young boy said, “I always sang along but no one could hear me. Some man was always louder than me.”

Laughter filled the church.

The minister declared, “God has indeed answered our prayers. We are blessed once again with “The Voice of Christmas.”

The organist began again as the young boy was lifted up to sing and they all joined in…

“Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!”

We are each called to be His Voice not only at Christmas but all year long.

Meditation: …I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also. – 2 Timothy 1:5

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

Also read:

 

Every Day is Christmas

Every Day is Christmas

Every day is Christmas when you have the kind of mind,
That stores up all the goodness and the sweetness it can find.
When you don’t need an occasion, to spread a bit of cheer,
But just keep on a-giving, of yourself throughout the year.

Every day is Christmas, with a gaily wrapped surprise,
When you’ve learned to see the friendship, in someone else’s eyes.
When you try a little harder, and complain a little less,
Holding fast to all the fervor of the faith that you possess.

Every day is Christmas when you’ve found that you can be
More concerned with words like “you” and less with “I” and “me.”
When it’s fun to do a favor, and to lend a helping hand,
When being understood means less, than when you understand.

Every day is Christmas, with a beauty deeply cast,
When you find it doesn’t matter, if you’re first or if you’re last.
When you can face your conscience, and be glad of what you are,
Then every day is Christmas, with a stable and a star.

— Author Unknown

Meditation: One thing I have desired of the Lord, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord, And to inquire in His temple. – Psalm 27:4

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

Also read:

The Christmas 10 Commandments

The Christmas 10 Commandments

Below are some 10 commandments of Christmas coined by a concerned citizen:

1. Thou shalt give thy heart to Christ. Let Him be at the top of thy Christmas list

2. Thou shalt prepare thy soul for Christmas. Spend not so much on gifts that thy soul is forgotten.

3. Thou shalt not let Santa Claus replace Christ, thus robbing the day of its spiritual reality.

4. Thou shalt not burden the shop girl, the mailman, and the merchant with complaints and demands.

5. Thou shalt give thyself with thy gift. This will increase its value a hundred fold, and he who receiveth it shall treasure it forever.

6. Thou shalt not value gifts received by their cost. Even the least expensive may signify love, and that is more priceless than silver and gold.

7. Thou shalt not neglect the needy. Share thy blessings with many who will go hungry and cold unless thou are generous.

8. Thou shalt not neglect thy church. Its services highlight the true meaning of the season.

9. Thou shalt be as a little child. Not until thou has become in spirit as a little one art thou ready to enter into the kingdom of Heaven.

10. Thou shall not forget to share your joy, peace and faith with those around you.

— Author Unknown

Meditation: And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” – Luke 2:13-14

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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