It really was a Merry Christmas this year. It was more so for some than others. Here is a real Christmas story that I was blessed to be a part of.
I was off work Christmas Eve. That’s a rarity because, being a nurse, I usually have to work on holidays. But this year I looked forward to having Christmas Eve off work to spend with my family. We have a very dear friend, I’ll call him Doc, whose family is widely dispersed and Doc was not going to be able to be with family this year. We invited him to come have Christmas Eve dinner with us. I’d called Doc that morning and set up a time that I would drive into Knoxville and pick him up. I arrived at his house at the arranged time and Doc informed me that a friend of his (I’ll call him Ed) had, in the past hour, had a very bad disagreement with his family and the family had kicked Ed out of the house. Ed was presently walking to Doc’s house to stay with him. I asked what direction Ed would be walking from and suggested that we go to meet him and give him a ride.
About half a block away, we met Ed walking up the street and I stopped and rolled down my window. Doc spoke to Ed through the open window and told him to go on to his house because he (Doc) and I had a prior arrangement for dinner that day. Ed nodded in understanding and began walking towards Doc’s house again. You know, I didn’t know Ed and I still don’t for that matter, but I couldn’t see any reason why Ed should have to spend Christmas Eve alone anymore than Doc should.
“Hey Ed!” I called to him and he stopped to listen. “Get in this vehicle!” I said. “You’re going with us to have dinner at my house.”
He dropped his head and, rather dejected, opened the back door of the SUV and climbed in. We all departed and began the journey to my house for dinner. Doc and I talked on the way home but Ed never said a word. I called home and told my wife to set another plate.
We arrived at my home, went upstairs, and sat down at the dining table. My wife and I sat at the ends. Doc sat to my right and Ed sat to my left. I motioned for Ed to take my hand as I offered my hand to Doc. I asked God’s blessings over that wonderful meal that my wife had prepared and we ate to our heart’s content and our bellies misery. Afterwards, we went downstairs and talked for several hours before Doc, Ed, and I loaded up in the vehicle to return them to Doc’s house. I dropped them off and said goodbye. They were both appreciative for the meal and the company that we’d shared. I left and returned home never thinking anything else about it.
About 10 p.m. that night Doc sent me a text that Ed had sent him. That text read, “God made me come to you today so I can meet your friend so that I could open my eyes. You and your friend showed me what family is about today.” It would seem that Ed had gone home and resolved the conflicts with his family and they wound up having a Merry Christmas together.
THAT’S the stuff Christmas stories are made of! All I did was offer a man a meal and some fellowship without any requirement from him. I brought him home and he saw how my family interacts as a family and with friends. That’s ALL I did. God knew all of this before hand. He SET IT UP! Doc and I could not have planned better than it happened if we’d tried! You see, God only needs for us to be available. He does the work! Now Ed could have been anywhere doing anything other than what he was doing but God crossed his path with ours. Ed was a stranger to me but I treated him as family. God used that to heal his broken heart and lifted him out of the rut that the devil had tossed him into. It was merely that God allowed me to be present to see it happen.
Yep, this Christmas is a Christmas that I’ll not soon forget. I bet Ed won’t forget it either. God Bless!