Settle back for a few minutes because I want to tell you a story of Christmas and miracles.
This is a true story and one which has warmed my heart every year when I decorate my Christmas tree. It took place at my home, the year my 16 year old son died.
We had a house fire just after Christmas the year Bryan was born 16 years before. Because we had lost everything we began a new tradition the following year. Each of the children was given a gift to open when we decorated the tree. It was a tree ornament. The ideas was that when they left home as adults they would each have a collection to take to their own tree.
Soon the children began giving me an ornament as well. At first it was things they had made at school. I still have the remnants of a two paper chains and a lovely hand made, stained glass piece. When they got a little older they started going out together to buy something special for me.
It was another tradition to decorate the tree on Bryan’s birthday which is December 12. We would make an adventure of it and go to a tree farm and cut a tree to bring home and decorate.
Bryan died in October of 2000 but we decided the tradition would not die with him. We would keep it to honour him. So two months after we buried Bryan we celebrated his birthday together. We had some family for dinner and a few of Bryan’s friends joined us to help decorate. They knew how important it was for us but they also knew it would be hard without him.
It was a nice evening of sweet memories but then came time to share our gifts. The girls were pleased with theirs. I had bought one for Bryan months before so we put it on the tree too.
The girls were very sad though because they could not bring themselves to get an ornament for me. They were explaining this to me with tears in their eyes when a knock came to the door.
The woman at the door was someone I didn’t know very well. She attended my church and lived down the road but we were not close. She apologized for interrupting our gathering but said she had something she felt she had to give me. For a reason she didn’t understand she knew she had to give it to me that night. She hesitated to say, but she believed it was a gift from Bryan.
When she was decorating her tree she came across an ornament her grandmother had given to her years before. She didn’t understand why but she knew at that moment the little dove which had adorned her tree was to be given to me as a gift from Bryan.
So at the very moment of our sadness God brought light and life to back to our tree. It is placed there every year still in memory of the great gifts that God gives to us, even in our pain.
I hope you believe in miracles.