Not Just Another Christmas Story

January 12, 2008
By Elizabeth Foote, Independence, KY

I come to you today with a story of humility, sacrifice, faith, and above all love. For though at times love can seem far away it is always near for God is near and he is love. Our story starts in a dirty orphanage on the corner of Twelfth Street in New York City.

A cold breeze chills tiny bare feet as the old, wooden door opens to reveal a small boy being lead by a tall, slender old lady. As the two walk in forty tiny eyes follow them all the way up the staircase until they are out of site. This was a challenge for the boy for his limp made it difficult to drag his pale, bony legs up the old wooden stairs. With a firm, uncaring hand the old woman pushes him through the thresholds of room no bigger or cleaner than a child’s closet. As
she looks him over before leaving a frown of disgust falls over her face, revealing her true ugliness in ever wrinkle. And with the click of the lock this helpless child flings himself to the greasy bed where he has cried so many times before. His once beautiful black hair is matted and greasy and his bruises scream with pain as he hugs his pillow tightly.

“God why do you do this to me?” he prays. “Have you forgotten your little Haceam? Why do you give me these little pieces of hope and then take them from me right when I start to find
peace? You let me know my parents then took them to be in heaven with you. You gave me a good home with my grandmother then took her away too. You’ve even let people adopt me but they have all been cruel and not wanted me. Why can I not be loved, God? Do you even love me?” And with this troublesome question he crys himself to sleep the same as he has for the past three years.

Meanwhile, in a better town where lights shine bright on the snow covered roofs and little ones can be heard singing carols and spreading the Christmas spirit like a welcome disease,
a young man runs from shop to shop looking for the perfect gift, for himself. You see though Erik is still in his early twenties his selfishness has drove all of whom he has ever loved away, giving his heart a empty hole that threatens to soon be filled with bitterness. Believe it or not he also goes to church and is a firm believer in Jesus Christ. He prays every night for God to send him someone that would be able to help him and even give him a reason to change his ways, give him a reason to love. If he could only find the love in Christ maybe he could learn to have a giving heart.

Call it coincidence (or whatever you want to call it) but that same night while watching TV in his room Erik hears the voice of God. It does not exactly scare him for he has heard it in the back of his mind since he was a little boy but this time it is almost like God himself was standing in the room with him. The voice tells him to go to the little orphanage on the corner of Twelfth Street, where Erik himself once lived, and adopt a little boy named Haceam.

Of course Erik if flabbergasted by the order. How is he supposed to drop everything he has and go adopt a child he has never even met? Why would God possibly choose him to carry out a task like this? Would he even make a suitable parent?

“But God, I have no one to help me with this. How am I supposed to raise a kid on my own?” inquires Erik. Then a soft voice follows through the room like a calm summer’s breeze.

“I am always with you. Have I ever lead you astray? Have I ever put more on you than you could bear? Give up your selfish ways for every thing works together for good for those who
believe in me.”

Neither of our boys get much sleep that night. They toss and turn in time with all the questions spinning in their heads. The next morning Erik gets up to the annoying beep of his alarm clock with only one thing in mind. Rushing out the door he barely gives himself time to make himself presentable for he knows if he stops to think he will talk his way out of this.

When Haceam wakes up to the squeaky henges of his door as it opens to reveal a tall, dark stranger and his dreaded caretaker he is not quite sure if he should praise or curse God.

“Are you the answer to my prayer?” he asks Erik, his dark blue eyes full of doubt.

“No,” Erik replies shaking his head, “your the answer to mine.” And with that Haceam runs into Erik’s arms and they share a healing embrace. And to this day they both swear they
could feel the very arms of God wrap around them in that filthy building, taking away all the pain they were carrying.

So Erik takes his new son with him and they live many happy years together full of laughter and tears, joy and despair, friendship and most of all love. A love that no folly, no
selfishness, no lack of worth, nothing could take away. For now they were close to God and to be close to God is to be close to the very essence by which we mortals manage to trudge on day to day.

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