With hurried steps she grabbed her wallet, bible from the counter, and stepped outside where the car had been started earliar.

The stars radiated from above, suspended but filtering down just the right amount of light to enhance the blessed event of the year. Christmas eve ~

She pulled out of the driveway, put her favorite Christian radio station on and was immediately uplifted with songs of praise.

She was quite pleased with herself for arriving early to church but upon stepping inside(to her dismay) many of the seats were already taken. I must locate a seat where I can see the pastor she thought to herself for her eye sight was not what it once had been.

She located a seat midsection only to find out quickly that there were no song books placed near by. Goodness, she thought to herself and debated on changing seats but decided to just stay where she was. As she removed her coat and gloves her eyes took in the beauty of; tall candle holders at each pew welcoming all and giving off the softest yellow ray of light; the front ~ just the right amount of candles, flowers and decorations to complete the picture perfect evening.

Songs of praise filled the church shortly thereafter with voice after voice in harmony while the presence of the Holy Spirit comforted all.

Silent night, Holy night, all is calm...echoed throughout the church as young and old sang together; many with tears in their eyes as did she. Tears of praise,(to have found this church and the wonderful people she thought to herself) His presence so strong; then more tears surfaced from years ago.

Two little children dressed in their Christmas outfits; the small girl with her red crushed velvet dress on matching white socks with a hint of red around the top edges; blonde of hair with eyes that lite up with excitement; her brother , two years younger and her twin he could have been. Oh, quite the little gentleman dressed in his Christmas suit; red vest, bow tie, and dark pants that did actually fit this year.

"Mommy", the little girls soft voice whispered, can I hold the candle by myself this year please"? "Sweet heart", the mother answered with eyes that softened when she spoke, " Not by yourself this year; but this is what we will do. You hold the candle and I will place my hand around yours." "Okay mommy, the little girl replied", then smiled the ever sweet smile of accomplishment. Then the father took the hint and held the sons hand while trying to assit with keeping the candle upright.

Does time really go fast? Faster than she wanted it to for she had two wonderful children and a husband that had loved her very much.

Tears surfaced again as she got into her car; the service was over and back home she was headed to where the children were grown and another husband awaited her return. Tears were not something that flowed freely and openly from her eyes. It's not because she didn't care or have great compassion for others (for she had cried a million tears inside that the world did not see) but tears rarely escaped.

Something was different about these tears she thought to herself. She recognized why she might be crying, but couldn't place the 'why' they wouldn't stop. Then the most wonderful inner calm came over her for God touched her spirit with such understanding and compassion.

You do know why you are shedding tears and why you are now given the peace within, His spirit spoke to hers. You recognize that you did have a wonderful fulfilled life with your children and you will have many more times of sharing with them as adults. Now you have a grandchild to share all my teachings with and you will guide them all as I continue to guide you.

Precious Lord ~ thank You so much for Your constant love and attention for even the smallest of tear does not escape you nor a sigh within that only You can see. Thank you for awakening my spirit to what was and continues to be ~ the importance of remembering and passing on; Your love, Your compassion, and Your teachings.

Memories that intertwine with the present as God's arms of great comfort always embraces.

Did she know how blessed she had been and continues to be so? Does she rejoice daily for all the blessings? Does she thank God daily for her precious family?

Yes, I do ~

writing copyrighted@Linda Elaine Calhoun 2000

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