Friday, December 13, 2013


 The other night, I was making my way home along the busy, snowy roads.  The light turned green, and cars began to travel in the typical holiday hurry to their various destinations.  Then suddenly, I heard a siren.  It got louder and louder and soon, the large hook and ladder was in view.  The streets, covered with new fallen snow, reflected the lights of the sirens, in a beautiful RED and white pattern.  It was captivating.  Soon, I realized the fire truck
was waiting to cross the street, and the cars were not letting them through.  Each and everyone in too big of a hurry, focused on their next stop or purchase or event.  I shouted to myself, "Debbie, Stop and pull over, there is a crisis ahead!"  As I pulled over, other cars began to follow suit, and make their way to the curb. And soon, the large RED truck was able to make its'way through the light and focus on the tragedy ahead.  As I sat on the side of the road, I remembered sitting in church, one Sunday in December, just two years prior, as an exhausted and overwhelmed single mother.  I still remember the moment, for it changed me.  My kids and I arrived, that cold Sunday morning, and took our seats in the center section, about 5 rows back.  I sighed and realized I had made it one more week.  One more time, I had kept everyone alive (including the dog) for one more week.  One more week, I had gotten everyone awake and fed and to church on time.  I was just finishing up finals, like I am today.  As I sat, I noticed the poinsettia flower arrangement majestically gracing the podium.  As members of the congregation spoke and sang, I thought to myself, "How can they be so happy when my life is falling apart?" This was puzzling to me.  How could I be struggling to survive each day, praying not only to make it through finals, but throw together some sort of Christmas miracle for my kids, and yet, everyone seemed so happy and did not even notice I was completely falling apart?  I sat and listened, my lip quivering with hurt, frustration, pain, guilt and even resentment towards everyone else who seemed to have it all together, that day.  You know, how when your car is broken down, everyone seems to be driving a shiny RED sports car.  And, when you have a bad hair day, the world seems to have just walked out of the salon----- well, everyone but you, that is.  I realized while sitting in the chapel that day, that even when you are having the best day of your life, someone else may be having their worst.  When you are the happiest, someone is the saddest.  When you feel like life just could not get any better, someone else is hoping and praying that it just doesn't get any worse. So, after pulling over and letting the firetruck through, I made it home.  I pulled into my driveway, and audibly yelled STOP!!
 I needed to regroup, and refocus.  So, I decided that rather than focusing on trying to figure out Christmas after finals, I asked myself, "Today, have I RED the words of He whose birth we celebrate this Christmas season?"  "Have I RED and pondered the life of service and sacrifice He led and of His blood He so freely spilt in my behalf?"  "Have I thanked Him for the gift He so REDily gave, that broken hearts like mine, can become healed hearts, through Him and only Him?"

We live in a world where so many celebrate His birth, each Christmas season, yet so few celebrate His teachings. I decided then and there, that I did not want to be one of them.  Every time I see firetruck, a stop sign, or anything RED, I will think of Him.  He who would STOP at nothing to save and heal me.  He who whose line is never busy, who always knows my needs and would not hesitate to "pull over" and let anything and everything go, just to help me during a time of tragedy, crisis or concern.  And, all I need to do is STOP and go to Him, who birth we celebrate this Christmas season.  Every time I see something RED, I will ask myself, "Have I RED of Him today?"  Have I RED of He who loves the unlovable, heals the incurable, warms the cold and feeds the hungry and befriends the lonely?  As I wrap up finals this next week, I will not allow myself to be overwhelmed with what the world calls Christmas.  I will strive to put Christ back into Christmas------- and remember, that even when I am the happiest, someone else's world may be falling apart, and I will do my best to reach out as He would, and be His hands of whom I have RED today, this Christmas season.

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