Thursday, December 21, 2006

A Christmas Wish...

The Christmas Wish…

Oddly enough the story of this Christmas wish starts with a dead body.

Bear with me. This Christmas wish may not start out pretty, but like so many paths to God, it ends up gloriously.

There was a time in my life when the only way anyone would have known I died was when the body started to smell out in the hallway. For reasons which I will not get in to, but which many people who are born like I was will understand, there was a time in my life when my relatives where either dead or had disowned me. I will leave out of the equation the relative who threatened me bodily harm.


There are many people who are alone during the holidays. Walk down the streets of the average city. Look for the heating grates, and the underground streets. You will find plenty of them. But they aren’t all in the streets. Some of them may be the people you work with. Case in point. God rest his soul, Gerald Johnson.

I worked with Gerald for many years until he transferred to a different department. I didn’t know him as well as others did. Now it is too late. Gerald hadn’t shown up for work for at least a week. One of his co-workers finally went up to Gerald’s department head and asked where Gerald was. Sadly enough the department head didn’t know. So the co-worker and one of his friends went over to Gerald’s house.

No Answer.

They called the fire department. One thing lead to another and the fire departmentwent in to the house. Gerald was there, dead on his bathroom floor. He had been there for a week. The fireman simply came out and told Gerald’s co-workers “You don’t want to go in there.”

So often people don’t appreciate God’s greatest gifts until they are gone. Many is the morning that Grandmother would wake up in the wee hours of the morning to make grandfather breakfast, when he had to be at work at 6:00 am. A cheerful voice would shout up the stairs of their house “It’s on the table Mabel” This happened even after grandfather retired. All the same, my grandfather had a little ditty he would sing in off moments, when both he and grandmother where still alive. He would sing, “It’s a great life with a wife, it’s a great wife without a wife – who the hell wants a wife.”

He did.

When grandmother died and her voice no longer called up the staircase “it’s on the table Mabel” then he began to appreciate the voice.

So that brings me to my Christmas wish. I learned to appreciate God’s gifts because there were times in my life when they were taken away. God was merciful in my case. He gave them back in wonderful ways I never dreamed possible. So let me go through my list of what I want for Christmas.

Top of the list – I want a family.

What a wonderful gift. I have a family again. I wake up in the morning and go to sleep at night and I am not alone. I have my convent. Mother Superior, though she doesn’t have to, gets up on those mornings I work outside the convent and makes breakfast for me. Hot Swedish coffee and some of the best food you have ever tasted. That brings me to my second wish.

Lord, I want food to eat.

There was a time, long before I became a nun, that people would ask me how I lost so much weight. My answer was always the same. Suicidal depression and starvation - at the time I was so thin I looked like I had just escaped from a death camp. Now? Wow! What food! Mother Superior’s cooking is rarely outdone. When her brother comes to visit on the holidays I find out that it is occasionally possible to out do her cooking! What a cook he is as well! But always, I remember, whenever I eat – that in order for me to eat, something had to give it’s life so I can live. And so I thank God for the gift of that life, whether it is simply a plant life or an animal life. I thank God for the gift of that life so I can live. That brings me to my next wish.

A life – Lord I want a life.

Many is the time we have all heard someone say “Get a life” Yes I have a life, and what a life it is! True, in order to get this wonderful life, I had to be willing to give up a few dreams of my own. The world may never have another actress it doesn’t need. The other side of the bed is taken up with two dogs and a rabbit each time I go to sleep. Ever heard of the group or expression “Three dog night”? Well when it is cold in our neck of the woods (and even when it is not) for me it is always a “two dog and one rabbit night” When my life had hit bottom (see the above paragraph about people only knowing I was dead when the body started to stink) I finally gave my life to God with no reservations – and He gave me my life back. He gave me a wonderful life. If you have ever seen the movie “The Blues Brothers” you will have seen the parts of the movie when they say “We are on a mission from God.” Well, in my case, that is truly the case.

So my Christmas wish list consists of a family, food to eat, and a wonderful life. Looks to me like I already have everything I could ever want. The best thing is, I didn’t even have to ask for any of it. God already knew. I gave my life to Him and he gave me all these wonderful things.

There is one more small wish. Well perhaps not too small. It is a big one – a real biggie in fact. I will admit, this particular Christmas wish has yet to be fulfilled. Some may think that God is falling down on the job. The odd thing is, He keeps trying to give us this gift and as a whole, mankind seems to keep telling Him we don’t want it. But I do, and so I will keep praying for it. In fact, that same prayer that God asks for is really why He threw in the answer to the other Christmas wishes as sort of a bonus gift. That’s because He cares. So I will keep praying, not for God to grant this Christmas wish, but for a time when mankind is finally willing to accept this last Christmas wish of mine. It is a doozie. My last Christmas wish? Simple.

Peace on Earth.

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