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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Christmas Moments

I was on my way home from work Tuesday evening and stopped at Arbys for some dinner. I was waiting at the drive-thru, when I saw a man approaching from the street. He was walking very slowly and I started to get a bit nervous. After all, it was quite dark outside and I couldn't see any reason for him to be out on such a cold, dark night. He got closer and closer to the front of my car and I was getting ready to lock the doors. (Usually, I lock them once I start driving, but I hadn't that night.) He passed in front of me and walked up to the garbage can in front of me. He pushed open the flap and looked inside. Not seeing anything worthwhile, he left and headed back to the sidewalk.

I felt so sad. It was so cold out there and he was just looking for something to eat. Now, our family is currently "financially challenged", but we have enough to eat and a warm place to sleep. I don't know this man's circumstances or what brought him to Arby's trash can. But, I took a couple moments to thank Heavenly Father for all I have. I thought about giving him one of my sandwiches, but by the time I left the parking lot, he was gone and I couldn't see him anywhere. It was definitely, a "count your blessings" moment.

Today, I left the house to run to the bank and pick up a Christmas present for one of the kids. I was stopped at a traffic light and my stomach was all tied up in knots. I was just rushing and worrying. Over the radio came Nat King Cole's voice singing "Silent Night". I literally felt all the tension leave my stomach and I took a deep breath. Nat King Cole's voice is unbelievably soothing. And the song was so soft and beautiful and old-fashioned. I was grateful for the reminder of what the Christmas season is all about. A small baby who became my Savior. My errands were over quickly and the feeling of calm was fleeting (I'm back home!), but it was wonderful.


Mama D said...

Thanks for sharing. It's good for us to be reminded of the reason we celebrate this holiday.

I recently read a comment on another blog about loving this season, even the crowds and traffic congestion -- because they were caused by people who were buying gifts for those about whom they cared. Totally changed my thinking on the crowds and stress of the season!

I'm glad you had the chance to feel the release of the "gotta finish before Christmas" tension!!

Merry Christmas!

Patty said...

What a wonderful post! I think we all need constant reminders about how blessed we really are. It's so easy to fall into the habit of wanting more instead of showing gratitude for what we already have.
Merry Christmas Maura!!

Leslie said...

Loove it! thanks for sharing. We truly are blessed. I wish I could have given him my sandwich too!

ANTSYLLI said...

Thanks for touching my heart with that story. Many times in my work I think, "There but for the grace of God, go I." Sometimes we get too busy to realize how blessed we are. I am glad you were able to have that experience and even more thankful you took the time to share it with others.

Papa D said...

Perspective is amazing, isn't it? I think this is one of the reasons we are commanded to serve others - to put our own lives in perspective.

AJ said...

I love those few and far between sacred moments that the Lord grants us amongst the chaos. Thanks for sharing your moment, I needed it.

Sarah said...

I think of those moments as the "tender mercies" Elder Bednar always talks about. Aren't they great?? Merry Christmas!

carrie said...

wow maura...what a poignant experience. thanks for sharing. i've been in those too and you want to do something and feel helpless when you can't. remember that you provide a lot of comfort to countless people through your membership in Christ's church.

i love those moments when we feel the Lord's love directed at us and we know it's no accident. He's reminding us He's there, He knows us, He knows what we need right now, and that He loves us. there's just nothing better than that.