I would like to share two stories from two completely different perspectives, yet are able to find common ground on this particular Saturday, one day after the anniversary of Pearl Harbor and one day before the second Sunday of Advent.
Yesterday, as I was “surfing” through the channels on TV, I noticed an image of a WWII veteran doing an interview for a documentary film that was being shown on this particular channel. I stopped, not because the film was about WWII, but rather it was the image I saw at that moment as this veteran held up his right hand with one of his fingers missing. He told the story of how he lost his finger during an intense ground attack. The unit that he was with was taking on heavy firing from the enemy and pinned in with nowhere to hide. Injured, he looked around at the chaos; people he was with were either killed or injured. All he was thinking of was getting home to be with his wife stateside. Scared, he knew he had to get out of there if he wanted to survive, so with his “good” arm he began pulling himself across the ground. As he did this, he eventually reached a medic who was taking care of the others who were injured as well.
He asked the medic what his name was. The medic looked at him and said his name was Jesus.
The veteran continued his story saying that upon hearing the medic’s name, he knew he would be alright. As I watched him on TV say this, I saw in his eyes the peace that came over him at that moment over a half century ago. A peace that this veteran still finds today through Jesus Christ each time he tells this story.
The second story is about a Christmas card that my wife and I received earlier this week from some friends of ours. In their card, they included a quote that their daughter, who is about 4 years old, said this past summer on vacation while driving by a field of evergreen trees. She simply said,
“Christmas trees are about love, not presents.”
I read this quote and thought about our own Christmas tree and of Christmas trees past: the ornaments that hung on them, collected from years past, the memories attached to each one. I thought to myself how much more important those ornaments/those memories are compared to the material gifts that sit on the ground around the tree.
Two different stories, yet with one common ground: LOVE! The love that God has for us, the same love that Jesus showed us here on Earth, the same love that we need to remember to share with our family, friends, and those we encounter each day.
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