The Light Of A Tree
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I'm only able to get email and online access now once or twice a week. This was meant for last weeks challenge, but I couldn't get it in on time. I think I'll expand on it. Hope you enjoy it.
“God, what are you doing?” I said as I slammed the hood of the car. I really couldn’t understand what he had in mind.
Thirty years I’ve been a Pastor. Two churches on fire for God and doing fantastic things. Then from no where, He tells me to move on to a place I’ve never even heard of before. Poto, Potoan, Potato… I still can’t pronounce it. Now here I am, thirty miles from nowhere. SUV broke down. I wouldn’t have brought this thing except I agreed to conduct their Christmas morning service and there’s two feet of snow on the ground. It’s the only thing with four wheel drive. Man, I’m a long way from Minneapolis. I looked at my watch. Almost 11PM.
I left the car with it’s flashers on and headed towards town, twenty miles ahead according to the last roadsign. I was well prepared for foul weather, but not necessarily walking a great distance in it. I realized there were only two tracks in the snow. That meant that traffic from both directions were traveling in the same place. It might be all night before anybody drives by. At least it wasn’t a blizzard.
After a few miles, I could feel the late night temperature drop. Anger was gone and I was asking God for help. The moon came and went, and from time to time, I could see the surrounding landscape. The road followed the rolling hills and sometimes it was a little steep. Half way up one of these hills, my footing slipped and I fell face into the snow. I climbed to one knee and surveyed the area. I picked myself up and as I did, I saw something.
In the distance was the glow of a light. I knew I close to town now. I moved with renewed hope.
Another mile and I realized the light veered away from the road’s direction. It seemed to be to the left, and the road went straight. I followed the road for a couple of hundred yards still. The light continued to move in another direction. I had to make a decision. It was hard enough to walk in the snow on the road. Up the hillside was going to be a nightmare. I continued until I was at the top of the rise I was climbing. It leveled off a bit there and I decided to follow the light.
I tried to sing some Christmas songs, they always cheer me up. My jaw didn’t want to move. I hummed instead. The climb wasn’t too bad, but as I crested the hill, there was another hill. This went on for a while. Finally as I walked over another hilltop, in the distance I saw the light.
As the light came closer, it began to take on a familiar shape. Aided by the occasional moonlight, I began to recognize that the light was a Christmas Tree in the front window of a small cabin. A Christmas tree! Of course.
I stumbled up the three steps of the porch, staring lovingly at the beautiful lights of the tree. I knocked on the door.
Finally a light came on inside. The door cracked a bit and a voice spoke. “Who’s there?”
I found it hard to speak, my jaw was frozen in place. I mustered a slight “Help me.” The door opened and I collapsed on the floor. The man called for his wife to get some coffee on.
Twenty minutes later, I was warming at the kitchen wood cook stove, sipping hot coffee and nibbling apple pie. “This is perhaps the best pie I’ve ever eaten.” I said.
“Well, thank you young man. That’s awful nice of you.” The elderly lady of the house said. She looked at me. “Now that you’re feeling better, maybe you could let us know what your name is?”
“Oh, I’m sorry. Jim Sorens. I was…”
“Sorens?” Her husband interrupted. “Why, our new pastor’s name is Sorens. He’s supposed to be here for the Christmas service in the morning.”
I blushed. “That would be me.” We all laughed.
“You know, if it hadn’t been for the lights of your Christmas tree…” I looked at the oil lantern on the table and the candle on the shelf. I said, “You have no electricity here do you?”
“Nope. Never needed it.”
I smiled. I’ve never slept better than I did that night. Resting deep in the arms of Jesus on Christmas Eve.
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I enjoyed reading this, very heartwarming.