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Maggie's Christmas Prayer, Chapter Nine, Christmas Morning
Lauren Colleen Alan
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As she did every Christmas morning, Maggie woke up bright and early. Christmas was her favorite day of the year, because she loved celebrating Baby Jesus being born to save the world from all of our sins. "Happy Birthday, Jesus," she whispered when she woke up. "Thank You for being our Lord and Savior and for being born in the stable and for dying on the cross for all of the bad things we do and say and for coming back to life. Thank You for making my daddy smile again and for all of the fun I've had with him over these last few days. I love You, Jesus. Amen."
She ran down the hall into her dad's room. Glenn was still asleep. He had been up late thinking about the angel's visit and about the miracle God had done by leading a vicious man like Jorge Duarte to repentance. He didn't fall asleep until about three in the morning, so when Maggie tried to wake him up, of course it was a bit of a challenge. When Glenn finally did wake up when Maggie shook him so hard it felt like there was an earthquake, he was a bit groggy. "Uh, what? What is it, Maggie?"
"Merry Christmas, Daddy!" Maggie exclaimed, in the same tone the Bailey children had used in
It's A Wonderful Life.
Glenn was still a little disoriented because of sleepiness, but then it dawned on him what day it was. "Merry Christmas, sweetheart," he said. "Come here and give me a hug."
After they hugged, father and daughter sat silently for a while, and then Glenn said, "Maggie, I'm kind of tired. I had trouble falling asleep last night. What do you say you go on back to bed for a couple of hours, and I'll get a couple of extra hours of shut-eye, and then we can go out to the Christmas breakfast our church has every year and attend the service?"
Maggie agreed, kissed her dad good-night, and went back to bed. As Glenn closed his eyes again, he found it hard to get a couple of extra hours of sleep. He wondered how he would explain the Christmas angel to Maggie. He ended up only getting thirty extra minutes of sleep.
When both of them were awake and heading out the door to get to the church service, Glenn said, "Maggie, I saw an angel last night while I was carrying you to bed."
Maggie's eyes widened. "An angel?"
"Yeah. He told me that--well, you know the mean guy who Daddy's been working on a case for? Well, last night, he broke into Daddy's office to try to steal something." When he saw the look of horror on Maggie's face, Glenn patted her head. "Don't worry, sweet girl. Nobody was there, so nobody got hurt. He was with some friends, and they broke a window and set off an alarm. The police came to get him, and when he was being arrested, an angel appeared and the man asked Jesus to be his Lord and Savior."
"Does that mean he won't have to go to jail?" Maggie asked.
"Well, no, he'll still have to go to jail and pay for what he did, because he did something really bad, but that means that when he dies, he'll be in Heaven with Jesus," Glenn explained. "Just like the thief on the cross next to Jesus who had done really bad things, but when he repented, Jesus told him he would be in Heaven that very day. He still died, but he went to Heaven, and now he is with Jesus." He bent down and scooped Maggie up. "The angel also told me he has appeared in some dreams I've had. He told me you had prayed that I would smile again and that I would spend more time with you." Holding his daughter close, he said, "Maggie, from now on I won't be staying at work late anymore. I will just do my work at the office, and when all of the other lawyers go home, I will come home to you and we will spend some quality time together, just like we have been doing these past few days. I'll always miss your mommy, but I promise I will do much better about smiling, because God has reminded me that we can still have many great Christmases while keeping the memory of your mommy alive in our hearts. I love you so much, baby. Thank you so much for praying this."
After a nice, long, big hug, father and daughter headed off to church.
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