Just a Hill

John 15:12-13 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.   Greater love has no man than this . . . that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

 

chalise

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© Jeanne E Webster.  All rights reserved

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“Lord, give me eyes that I may see, lest I as people will,

Should pass someone’s Calvary and think it just a hill.”

~unknown

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“He what?  He committed suicide?  Oh NO!  Why didn’t he say something?  I would have been there for him.”   

This was a true story played out last week in the life and death of a famous retired baseball player, supposedly happy with his job as announcer for a major league baseball team.  Interviews with scores of friends and admirers all related that they knew nothing of his problems.  Reality showed they had been blind to his financial troubles.

It wasn’t a hill he faced; it was his cavalry.  His body was found in his back yard; he had shot himself in the head…and died.  Oh God…!

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Oh Lord, we are so busy these days, running here and there, feathering our nests, getting a leg up, or just plain living for the gusto of life.  We are blind to the red flags popping up around our friends: the panicky stares, the desperate inflections in their voices, the surety in their steps now wavering down the path.  We gave them fly-away thoughts.  That’s all.

If only, Lord…if only we would linger long enough in the lives of others, so they would feel comfortable sharing their troubles.  Give us eyes to see their needs, ears to hear their cries of desperation, and mouths to speak words of relief and peace.    In today’s fast paced society, Father, the world’s all like one big blur…zoom, zoom, zoom.  Use us for your purposes, Lord.  Open our eyes so we may distinguish between a hill and a calvary.    A friend’s life may depend on it.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

 

 

Whatever Happened to The Child of Christmas?

 

The famed author, Erma Bombeck, wrote this article about our missing childlike spirit as we celebrate our Lord’s birthday.    It is not intended to promote commercialism at Christmas time; it merely wonders where the “Love” went that themed the traditional Christmas celebration.  Please read it and maybe read it again–it’s one of a kind. 

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Whatever Happened to The Child of Christmas?

©Erma Bombeck, taken from old newspaper clipping

There is nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child.

Not to feel the cold on your bare feet as you rush to the Christmas tree in the living room.  Not to have your eyes sparkle at the wonderment of discovery.  Not to rip the ribbons off the shiny boxes with such abandon.

When did the cold, bare feet give way to reason and a pair of sensible bedroom slippers?  When did the sparkle and the wonderment give way to depression of a long day?  When did a box with a shiny ribbon mean an item on the “charge”?

A CHILD OF CHRISTMAS doesn’t have to be a toddler or a teen.  A child of Christmas is anyone who believes that Kings have birthdays.

The Christmases you loved so well are gone.  What happened?

Maybe they diminished the year you decided to have your Christmas cards printed to send to 1,500 of your “closest friends and dearest obligations.”  You got too busy to sign your own name.

Maybe it was the year you discovered the traditional Christmas tree was a fire hazard and the needles had to be vacuumed every three hours and you traded its holiday aroma for a silver one that revolved, changed colors, played “Silent Night” and snowed on itself.

Or the year it got to be too much trouble to sit around the table and put popcorn and cranberries on a string.  Possibly you lost your childhood the year you solved your gift problems neatly and coldly with a checkbook.

THINK ABOUT IT.  It might have been the year you were too rushed to bake and resorted to slice-and-bake with no nonsense.  Who needs a bowl to clean—or lick?

Most likely it was the year you were so efficient in paying back all your party obligations.  A wonderful little caterer did for you for $3 per person.

Children of Christmas are givers.  That’s what the day is for.  They give thanks, love, gratitude, joy and themselves to one another.

It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to have children around a tree.  It’s rather like lighting a candle you’ve been saving, caroling when your feet are cold, building a fire in a clean grate, grinding tinsel deep into the rug, licking frosting off a beater, giving something you made yourself.

It’s a laughter, being with people you like, and at some time falling to your knees and saying, “Than You for coming to my birthday party.”

How sad indeed to awake on Christmas and not be a child.

Time, self-pity, apathy, bitterness and exhaustion can take the Christmas out of the child, but you cannot take the child out of Christmas.

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