Shannon woke to the sound of quiet sobbing in the dark room of the foster home. She wished the younger girls could just be quiet. She almost said it out loud, but then she remembered how she felt when she first came. And she remember what night it was; Christmas Eve.
Stepping into her slippers, she walked towards the sound. It was Abby, one of the newest girls in the home.
Laying a hand upon her back, Shannon tried to comfort Abby.
"What's wrong, Abby?"
Abby turned and pulled the covers around herself more tightly.
"Come on, Abby. It's okay," Shannon said, stroking the young girl's back. "Would you like to come snuggle with me in my bed for awhile?" Abby stirred and sat up. "Let's go."
Together the two girls made their way across the room, their eyes slowly adjusting to the darkness around them.
Once settled on Shannon's bed, Abby's sobs quieted.
"Now what's wrong, Abby?"
"I... I miss my family," she replied through her sniffling. "And it's Christmas. This is my first Christmas without my family."
"But you have your older brother here."
"It's not the same. I want Mommy and Daddy."
"I know you do."
"Mommy and Daddy always woke us up early on Christmas so we could see what Santa brought us. Will Santa find me here?"
Shannon was careful in her choice of words, not wanting to reveal the truth to the young girl right now. "I'm sure you'll have some presents in the morning. But do you know what Abby? Christmas isn't really about Santa."
Abby released a sigh. "I know. It's about family. But I don't have my family here either."
"Actually, Abby, there's even more to Christmas than that."
"Yep. Christmas is about a baby. A very special baby. Would you like to hear the story?"
The young girl nodded, a quizzical look on her face. Shannon held her close. "A long, long time ago, in a city called Bethlehem a baby was born. His name was Jesus. Have you ever heard about Jesus?"
"Only when Daddy yelled at Mommy."
Shannon chuckled. "Well, that's not what I'm talking about. Jesus was a very special baby..." Shannon continued. "...But some people didn't like it when Jesus said He was the Son of God. So they killed Him, even though He didn't do anything. But do you know what, Abby?"
"Jesus didn't stay dead. Three days later, He came back to life! Jesus died for our sins. Those are all the bad things we've done. And if we trust in Him, we can live with Him in heaven someday. Abby, would you like to celebrate the real Reason for Christmas this year? Would you like to ask Jesus to take away all the bad stuff you've done and become a member of His special family?"
"Yes." Together, the two girls prayed.
And the angels rejoiced.
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