By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
December 25, 2007
Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ at Christmas. But in our real lives, what we see is sometimes not so blessed and sacred.
But then again, no.
I am fascinated by the “second chances” life (and God) gives to us. I know people who can recount so many second chances that they are tempted to declare they may actually be on their third or fourth chance!
Nadine is a stripper and prostitute. She has been at it for many years – and she would be a wealthy lady if she hadn’t squandered what she made on drugs and alcohol. She is scheduled for her third “boob job” but even casual observers can see; her body is mostly saggy, old and tired now. She may have to learn a new trade.
She told me the week before Christmas, “I am beginning to truly love God. He has never forsaken me despite my awful behavior.”
That’s a pretty good guy and a great God!
That’s my God too!
I recently met Peter at the airport. He said he wanted to stop drinking alcohol and get drugs out of his life.
As he deplaned, I could see in his face his own disappointment with the life he had been leading. Peter’s face speaks loudly of his agony, fatalism and addiction. He looks like he has been tortured – and he has. He has lost his wife, his business is near collapse and his eight year old daughter urged him to quit. He is here for detoxification and recovery.
Michael is an alcoholic who suffers from diabetes who has been told by his doctors that he will be blind before long. Michael was practically a national hero, some years ago. He held a world record in his athletic specialty and a gold medal from the Olympics.
Today he suffers the agony of addiction and participates in daily AA meetings: sessions he calls his “lifeline.”
Christmas to be celebrates God’s birth as man – but it is also a sign of our own human rebirth and salvation. Whatever we have done, whatever crimes we have committed, god understands because he was born man himself. Moreover, I believe that God is all forgiving. The bible tells me so.
So Merry Christmas to all near and far, no matter your faith, no matter your country or your beliefs. It is my firm commitment that the “Higher Power” loves, cherishes and forgives us ever evil.
Especially at Christmas time.