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Christmas By the Roadside

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about gratitude, about praising the Lord in all circumstances (Psalm 34:1 and several other passages.)  It seems to me that without gratitude there can be no joy.  And a memory kept tugging at me.

One Christmas morning, a few years ago, I was driving from the parsonage in Lake Houston to our home in College Station where the rest of our family was gathered. I had needed to stay for the midnight Christmas Eve candlelight service.  I love that service, and as pastor I have to be there, but it can be lonely on Christmas Eve.  

Early Christmas morning was bright and clear, and I loaded up Abigayle the dog into her kennel, placed it in the back of the Chevy HHR and headed towards home. Somewhere past Millikan on highway 6, headed toward College Station, I saw a man in the grass off the highway.  He was carrying some flowers, and kneeling in front of three white crosses in the grass near the shoulder of the highway, those temporary crosses marking the tragedy of lost lives.   

It was like an awakening, an epiphany.  My griping to myself about how much I worked, how little I was appreciated, how much this or how little that, faded into nothing but gratitude as I headed on toward our home in College Station on Christmas morning to greet my family, who were there waiting for me to arrive. 

Frank is an Inspire Missioner living in College Station, Texas, USA

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