[MOL] A real christmas miracle... [00774] Medicine On Line


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[MOL] A real christmas miracle...



Merry Christmas, dear friends!

For many folks, especially those of us who suffer from depression, Christmas
can be be a particularly painful time. The "hype" can just add to the
feelings of despair. Yesterday, as my husband Tim and I started off on the
long drive up to our little church for morning services, we were detoured by
hordes of police cars and emergency vehicles, with everyone looking up at
the overpass above us. As we passed through, we looked back to the gruesome
sight of what appeared to be a man who had hung himself from the side of the
bridge.

I can't begin to tell you the grief I felt -- for him, and for his family,
and for all those who suffer during this season. I prayed hard for him and
his family, as we continued to drive up. I had a morning and evening service
to conduct, but mostly I just wanted to find a quiet corner to grieve for
all those whose pain is so great, a pain compounded by joy that seems to be
for everyone else. 

"But that's the reason that little baby was born!" I wanted to say. "For
folks just like you -- that's the point! For the poor --in spirit as well as
pocket; for the broken-hearted; for the hurting and wounded; for those who
feel they can't go on! That's what we are really trying to celebrate here --
that God loves each of us so much, and is so fully aware of our suffering,
that he chooses to suffer with us, and gives us his very life to ultimately
end out suffering." But it was too late to let him know...

Last night, as we drove home after our candlelight service, the day seemed
to end as it began...another major highway closed and packed with emergency
vehicles. This time, we were turned back, and had to try to find our way
home through a literal maze of twisty, unknown 2-lane country roads.  To add
worry, I could only pray that my son -- who had headed home before us -- was
not in that accident we saw, or lost as we were. It was an hour before we
could find a road we recognized, 2-1/2 hours before we were safely home, and
never was I more glad to hug my son, who was there waiting for us.

It wasn't quite the Christmas Eve I ordered; have you noticed that most of
them aren't? I wish I could say that as we drove in circles in the dark that
I was filled with Christmas spirit...but mostly I felt frustration. For all
the beauty of the many carefully decorated homes, all I wanted was to pull
into the driveway of my own little house. When you feel lost, it is so hard
to take pleasure in the journey. (Perhaps it was no accident that we passed
the same lit-up country church three times!)

This morning, it is quiet, and the sun shines in spite of bitterly cold,
piercing winds. A day like others, but different...starting as usual with a
cup of hot coffee, and the morning paper. But then, miraculous news! A story
on page 3 -- the man we saw on the bridge is somehow ALIVE! What we
witnessed was the unfolding of this desperate man's threat to jump. As we
prayed in despair, believing it was too late, God somehow gave the right
words to the right person, and this man has been given another chance at
life!

And you know, that's a pretty wonderful gift....

May God be with you all, my friends, and my your Christmas, even if
imperfect, be full of God's grace. Love and prayers, Joicy


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