Posted by: geolocke | 2014/12/25

My Christmas Story

(Adapted from my Journal Entry of Dec. 22, 2008)

What Joyous song is this that swells within my heart?
What Tremendous wonder have I beheld?
The Lord comes, He comes to rule the earth!
The heavens and the earth are split asunder at His coming!
All creation breaks forth into song!

Rejoice! Rejoice! The Lord comes!
Ended are sorrow and pain, and loneliness is no more!

No longer are we lost little children,
Our Father has come to take us home,
To dwell with Him in His house eternal,
To bask in the rays of His never dimming light.

Rejoice! Rejoice! The Lord comes!
Ended are sorrow and pain, and loneliness is no more!


My Christmas story in not so much a tale of miracles, although that might be arguable, but rather it is a tale of the affirmation of how God Loves each and every one of us, and chooses to show us that Love, not necessarily in grand wondrous ways, but rather in the smallest of actions taken by individuals who may not know how their actions will affect us.

Background:
My father was born in the midst of the great depression. His father was forced to move the family every 6 months to a year as he followed work around the mid-Atlantic states. As a result my father lost touch with his cousins and only remembers some stories about his earliest life growing up with his cousins and he knew next to nothing about his extended family or his grand parents or their families. Some 20 years ago, I began tracing our family tree with the then stated goal of finding my dad’s family and trying to reconnect him with his long-lost cousins.

Fast forward to 2008:
Several days before Christmas, my dad wasn’t feeling good. He had a nagging pain in his back and shoulder that wouldn’t go away. He suffered with the pain for a couple of days before agreeing that he should see the Doctor. When he called the Doctor, he was told to go immediately to the ER. I drove him to the ER where he was briefly examined and sent immediately into emergency surgery for heart failure.

The surgeon was stunned when he came out several hours later after placing stents in dad’s arteries. He told us that dad’s “widow maker” had been completely blocked and had been for quite some time. None of the medical team could believe that dad had walked in there and had been putting up with his “nagging” pain for a couple of days. The Surgeon could only say that “it wasn’t his time to go.”

Dad was admitted to the hospital while they kept an eye out for further complications. I went home to prepare for the Christmas Penance Service that was being held that night. At the time I could not focus on more than the need to spend time before the tabernacle, and a penance service was as good of an opportunity as any to go spend time in Church before the Blessed Sacrament.

When I got home from the hospital there was a Christmas card waiting for me from some of my distant cousins that I had located through tracing dad’s family tree. Included in the card was a photograph that was taken in September of 1928 on the occasion of the first birthday of my dad’s older brother. In the photo were both my dad’s parents still in their 20’s, looking so full of life and wonder as they held my uncle on their knees. The photo was taken in St. Louis where my Grandfather had obviously taken my grandmother out to visit her brother’s family.

I was shocked and amazed and joy welled up in my heart as tears filled my eyes. No one in our family had ever seen that photo before. My cousins said it had been found in an old photo album and they thought we should have a copy. I was instantly torn as to whether I should show the photo to my father in his weakened condition, but almost immediately I knew that this photo had come to us at this time for a reason beyond any earthly explanation.

I took my journal with me to the Penance service and I wrote down the above prayer/poem/song and the events of the day which I am retelling here. Afterwards I returned to the Hospital with the Photograph. When I arrived dad was in CCU and I was only allowed to visit for a brief time. Dad couldn’t speak because of tubes and breathing fixtures in him, but his eyes where bright and alert, so I shared the story of the card and showed him the photo of his parents and older brother. Tears ran from his eyes and I know that his damaged heart was happy because he realized, as I did, that God had sent this photo to us, through the actions of others, so that Dad would be assured that his parents were there with him that evening, looking down upon him from Heaven and praying for his recovery.

Dad recovered from that medical emergency and has gone on to have several other “adventures”, but those are stories for another time.

So that is my Christmas Story. I pray for all of you this evening and tomorrow and always that you might find God acting in your life in the tiniest ways, always seeking to reassure you that you are Loved, and that on this evening especially, you might find that little child within you that still believes in the miracle of Christmas when God came down from heaven and dwelt among us as one of us.

Merry Christmas and God Bless us each and every one.

Advertisements

Responses

  1. A beautiful, true story.

    Thank you.

    Celia

    Like


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: