It's Christmas mornin, and my litter of grandkids are ‘ bout to hear my story , so they don’t hafta spend too many years lookin for answers to life’s puzzlin dilemma. Hopin I can dazzle them with somethin pro-found, since now I’m a "pro" and finally "found" what was right in fronta me.
It was Christmas Eve of ‘58, and I 'member my dad was fallin asleep at the midnight service. I feared he’d make a scene by passin out over the church songbook and shockin the women with fancy hats on who didn’t know what it was like to have a drunk dad.
When Pastor Hayforth read the Christmas story up front, one word stood out, makin tears form behind my eyes. I’d learnt the hard way years before to hold onto tears, for fear of dad’s meaner moods, when he had his bottle- breath.
When I heard about “peace on earth” .. I wondered what was that supposed to mean?
Years before I’d asked Mom what was the big deal about havin “peas on earth”, since I figured peas weren’t egg- zactly a new invention.
When she told me it was “peace” , I was then bent on findin it , it had such a good ring to it and all.
All I got out of Mom was that it was the kind of quiet she longed for but never had it with us kids fightin and dad makin her life a misery.
I asked Dad durin a rare sober moment, and he said “peace” was somethin nice people talk about but no one really gets any, at least not in this life, so I wondered if the preacher was just messin with us.
I started askin around. “ What is peace?”
When the angels was singin bout peace, I kinda figured they wouldn’t lie since they’re sorta special with wings and halos and all.
Then I was sixteen, and some of my buddies started raisin their thumb and two fingers callin it some kinda peace sign, and I got all interested.
Some movement goin on protestin the war and growin long hair, and I figured if it was about peace, I needed to figure it out.
I smoked some dope, and did some protestin , but somethin in me knew that wasn’t it.
This invite of “peace” had its pull on me for sure, … like an invite to a long journey, and I knew I wouldn’t stop till I found out where on earth it was, since it came to earth that night with those famous sheep people.
I got married and had a famly, still lookin for it , but that wasn’t it either, no offense to my woman.
It still kept runnin from me, and I guess I was lookin in the wrong places.
Then one day my boss took me to a special church thing and there it was.
I watched some people worshippin, hands raised and lookin to heaven like they knew somethin. That’s when I saw it. All over their faces… a peace… it just lit them up like a Christmas tree on the inside comin out, and I hungered for it even more.
Pretty soon, I got it.
Actually, there’s no way a soul can splain this peace I’d had a front seat to witnessin. It has to be spirienced, and that is too long a story for Christmas morning. But I will tell you this, young uns..
It comes in knowin Jesus personally, not just doin the motions of church goin.
Our Jesus is real and wants to come right into your hearts. When I caught that message, I finally rested and quit trivin so hard’ cause I’d found my answer.
Well, that’s my story, and then I’m hopin they have lots of questions and get all into it, but then again, this could be just some plantin seed that God will water later .
I’m prayin it’s gonna become their story and on and on and on.
Yep, this Christmas Day is special. If God could give His Son, make this heavy heart fulla peace even now, when I’m old and my retirement just disappeared, for reasons outa my control , then I’m ok with it.
I know God’s got my back, and I can take one promise to the eternal bank for sure that won’t need no bailout … He’s gonna come through ,
'cause He’s the Prince of Peace.
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