Friday, December 7, 2012

A Christmas Without Presents

Welcome to Christmas

I used to read a story * to my children when they were little. It was a Christmas story. There was this young destitute boy, walking on Christmas Eve trying to find shelter. He went to a rich home. He heard laughter and happiness.  He saw lots of people in the windows, eating and very merry.  A servant came to the door, took one look at him, and sent him away.  "We don't need the likes of you here!"

Onto the next house. The boy thought the rich people would be kindly. He thought they would give him a little food and offer him a place beside the fire so he could rest and be warm.  But house after house turned him away.  This little "vagabond" would ruin their parties. He was not welcome.

The boy was just about to give up.  Tears streamed down his face as he walked out of the city. He prayed and begged God for help.   He stumbled onto an old shack with a small light in the window. He timidly knocked.  An old women answered the door. She had a great heart of motherly compassion.  She brought this poverty - stricken stranger into her home and set out to take care of him.  He was placed near the warm hearth and given a blanket.  The boy looked around at the sparsely furnished old room while he ate a warm bowl of soup.  The woman was so kind to him.  His weary soul was refreshed and grateful.

But something started to happen.  Back in the rich houses, a cry came out.  "There must be a fire over there!" They looked out the window down the street.  There was a bright light coming from an old shack.  The wealthy folks left their parties and headed towards the light.  But it wasn't a fire.  The light of holiness had shined down so bright because of the kindness of the old woman, and the joy in the heart of the poor boy.  When the rich people saw this, and that it was the boy they had turned away, they repented of their callousness.  They wanted what that boy and old woman had.  They wanted the joy of godliness and love and something far more valuable than an abundance of gifts and parties.

This year, in many homes in America, many families will not have Christmas presents. Many will not have a tree or decorations or much food.  The economy is so bad, that even if these families had a little extra cash available, they would be terrified to spend it on gifts, when that money may be needed to repair a car, pay a heating bill or make sure the family had enough basic food. 

Many homes this year will look destitute from the outside, but inside the sweet and humble hearts will be filling their homes with love and gratefulness because they have each other, and a little warm soup to share.  This year, we may very well see a bright light coming from many humble homes across the land on Christmas Eve, and those lights will not be from decorations.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

What it is Like - Living Without Credit Cards.

No Money for Christmas - To Encourage the Downcast Housewife.

Make it a Lovely, Precious Place - The Romance of Home.

* The story is from "Uncle Arthur Bedtime Stories" by Arthur Maxwell.

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Anonymous said...

This story brought me to tears. God will always be in the business of taking what seems insignificant and using it to bring glory to Himself.

I just bought myself a Christmas present, as selfish as it seems, but I can hardly wait to read the words of your new book!

My blog is still private with a new e-mail address, but I'm still the same old New England girl just the same!

If you don't hear from me again before, have a Merry and blessed Christmas, Sharon!

Noelle the dreamer said...

Beautiful story Mrs. White!! Thank you very much for sharing. Might I inquire to the title of this story?
Blessings to you and yours,

suzannah said...

thsnk you mrs white for writing this for me:-) i really needed it.

Mrs. B, a very peculiar person said...

Hello Mrs. White,

This story brought me memories of my own childhood. My childhood was filled with an impoverished grandmother and a wealthy grandmother. Upon my parent's divorce & neither parent desiring to raise me, my impoverished grandmother is the one who took me in, shared her humble, loving home and meager sustenance. The wealthy grandmother would see me only once or twice per year - at Christmas she would bless me with a gift of a recycled card containing one dollar. She was full of harsh criticisms regarding my clothing & appearance but never offered help with my care & upbringing.

I will not say that all wealthy folks are like my maternal grandmother or the wealthy folks in your story, as I have since been extremely blessed by a few wealthy.
BUT, your story and my personal experience reminds us not to judge anyone by their appearance or possessions. We must remember to look upon their hearts.

My maternal grandmother had much to give but choose to give nothing. My paternal grandmother had nothing to give but chose to give all she had.