Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Christmas Lights (10/30/08)
TITLE: Go Toward the Light
By Tim Pickl
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“I’m goin’ out to check on our Christmas lights.” Frank grunted as he pulled on his boots. “Looks like one of the strands went out again.”
“Oh, Frank—you an’ those silly lights. It’s Christmas Eve, ya know.”
“I know. But it’s important.” He zipped up his winter parka and pulled the hood up over his head. “It shouldn’t take too long.”
Soon, Frank Winters, a retired Marine, was in front of his home in the snow, tending to thousands of Christmas lights and figures. He loved Christmas, because it gave him an opportunity to let his light shine—to be a witness on the busy country road they were blessed to live on. Frank’s favorite of all the lights was actually a sign--secured on the roof above all of the lights--it was just five letters:
Just as Frank was replacing a tiny white bulb in a darkened strand of 1000 lights, a red Mustang fish-tailed toward him, then swerved and skidded to a stop.
“HEY--ol’ man!” The passenger screamed through an open window, obviously inebriated. He held up a baseball bat and pointed it at Frank.
Frank could see his breath as he whispered a short prayer, “God bless you...”
“MERRRRRRY CHRISSSMAS!!!” All the occupants of the car evilly cackled, as the passenger swung and smashed Frank’s mailbox, knocking it to the ground. The car sped away, fish-tailing away toward the next victim’s house.
Father, keep Your hand upon those boys. Keep ‘em safe, Lord.
Alice Winters opened the front door and poked her head out. “Frank, who were those boys? Are you okay?”
“Yes, I’m okay. I’ll take a look at the mailbox tomorrow. We should get goin’ to church soon.”
“Okay, dear. I have to take a shower and do my hair.”
The boys continued on their merry way, and smashed 10 more rural-area mailboxes. As they were heading back towards town—and for the next mailbox--the two-lane road had a couple of difficult curves, then a small hill. Just over the hill stood a large buck in the center of the road, staring directly at them. The deer jumped out of the way at the last second, but the red Mustang spun out and smashed into a large willow tree on the side of the road, and flipped.
Willy--the passenger with the baseball bat--survived the crash with injuries. He managed to crawl out of his open window, and then passed out in a nearby snow bank.
Several minutes later, the local Minister drove up in a large older-model Cadillac. He often took the road as shortcut to First Country Church. “Oh my”, he thought, “There’s no way I can stop—I’m running late as it is. I have to preach the Christmas Eve Sermon.”
He sped away.
Twelve more minutes passed. Two more boys managed to get out of the car, but they also fainted in the freezing snow.
The whirring sound of a huge Hummer appeared over the hill. A businessman from town was animatedly yelling on his Bluetooth. He spotted the boys, but ignored them, and whizzed by. I’m WAY too busy to deal with this right now—I have a Holiday Party to go to.
Two minutes later, Frank and Alice pulled up in a van on their way to church for the Christmas Eve service.
“Look Frank—isn’t that the same car!?”
“Yes, it is.” He pulled over, got out and went over to help Willy. “Son, are you okay?” He gently shook Willy, but there was no response. He yelled back to Alice. “They’re gettin’ frostbitten! There’s no time--we gotta get ‘em into the van!”
Miraculously, God gave Frank the strength to lift the boys into the van.
“Frank, let’s take them to the Emergency Room. Church can wait.” Alice suggested, as she turned up the heat.
The E.R. was busy that night, but Frank persisted. “Ma’am, I have three frostbitten boys here--”
“Please take care of them—we’ll pay for any charges.”
A week later, Frank pushed the wheelchair-bound Willy into church for the Near Year ‘Watch Night’ service. Willy humbly explained, “It’s strange, Mr. Winters. But, when I was passed out, I had a dream—more like a vision. An angel pointed through the snow toward the Christmas lights on your house. All he said was, Go toward the Light.
Then YOU showed up.”
He wiped tears away and added, “Thanks for stopping.”
Reference: Scriptures, all New International Version (NIV)
Love for Enemies ("...bless those who curse you...")
Jesus is the Light
Parable of the Good Samaritan
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