I pray this story from my life will touch and change your life. Hallmark could say it better but please accept my words as your Christmas card this year. Merry Christmas!
While I have received wonderful Christmas presents in the past, there have been several gifts I will never forget. This week I walked through the local drugstore and I saw a box of chocolate covered cherries. That box took me back to a time when I first learned the meaning of Christmas.
When I was in 7th grade, there was a tall, African-American girl who sat behind me in home room class. She was the star basketball player on the Jr. High team. Her name was Sybil and she lived with her grandmother in one of the smallest houses in the poorest section of town. Other girls whispered about her and I overheard that she had already had a baby. Sybil smelled of grease and wood smoke. Her clothes were threadbare and her shoes had holes. Each day when she arrived we said hello and smiled at one another. I was a small, quiet, studious girl and definitely not one in the popular crowd. She was shy like me so we didn’t really talk.
The last day of school before Christmas break, I noticed other kids were exchanging gifts with their friends but I wasn’t one of them. Sybil came to home room class with a small gift in her hand. It was simply wrapped and topped with a stick on bow. I thought to myself, “I am so glad poor Sybil has a friend to exchange a gift with.” But she walked past everyone else and stopped at my desk. She put the box on my desktop and said, “I got you a Christmas present.”
Of course I was caught so off-guard I asked, “why?” She said, “Because you’re my friend.” She made me open the gift and it was a box of chocolate covered cherries! Sybil and I sat right there in home room, right in front of everyone and shared that delicious box of candy. We ate every piece. She smiled and smiled as she bit off the tops, sucked out the juice, picked out the cream and then chewed up the cherry. We had our own private Christmas celebration!
I can’t imagine how much she and her family sacrificed to buy the candy. I can’t figure out how or why the Lord put Sybil and me on a collision course that led us to an unexpected friendship. But this much I did figure out, Christmas can be found in a box of chocolate covered cherries.
In what unexpected places will you find Christmas this year?
Heavenly Father, give us unexpected joy in unexpected places this Christmas. Slow us down and enlighten us so we might find and experience the true meaning of Christmas. In Jesus Name, Amen John 1:9, John 1:14 and Matthew 1:21