New Year’s Eve alone? I didn’t even care. I was
beginning the recovery from a bout of pneumonia and all I wanted was to
sleep. I went to bed at 10:30 p.m., but sleep would not come. I finally
turned on the light, grabbed a small unread book from the night stand,
and prepared to be bored to sleep.
The book, “The Christmas Promise,” by Donna Van
Liere, had 204 pages, and took just two hours to read. I kept thinking,
just one more chapter and I will quit for the night.
It didn’t happen! It was the story of Gloria, who
endured a family tragedy that shook her life to the core. Every
Christmas, she places a card on her tree, restating a promise she made
to her husband on his death bed. She moves from her small town and
builds a new life by caring for people in need. Miriam is her obnoxious
neighbor, who is suspicious of all that Gloria does.
Then there is Chaz, a young man with a good job. He
longs for a family of his own, but realizes that life choices he has
made have messed up his life. He befriends a young boy and gives him the
chance to have a life he thought would be impossible.
“The Christmas Promise” brings together the lives
of these characters and we are reminded that a Christmas promise is a
promise of a second chance.
I finished the book at 12:30 and was now ready for
a good night’s sleep. Just one more problem. I had been on self-imposed
home confinement in the interests of germ control and had no idea of
what was happening in the outside world. What could I write in the
Publisher’s Desk? I took time to ask for God’s guidance in this matter
and then fell into a sound sleep for the night.
I was having breakfast on New Year’s morning when
the phone rang. It was Betty Bush Durst, CHS Class of 1955. She wanted
to let me know that she really looks forward to the Chronicle each week
and likes to read about hometown people and even my family.
Betty has suffered severe medical problems in the
past several years, but has a positive outlook, with each very small
improvement adding up to another victory over her ailment. A few weeks
of pneumonia is nothing compared to what she has overcome.
I decided to check emails next and the very first
one was from Voras Haynes, another member of the CHS Class of 1955. It
was about those who survived the years of 1930-1980. I am a survivor of
those years! Another subject to write about in the Chronicle.
This week, there was the inspiration of talking
with the sons of Doc Law about the life of a quiet “ordinary” man whose
four sons carry on the legacy of serving God. I also heard from Shirley
Fitzwater about how Doc’s influence was felt in the church and
Every day there is evidence that prayers are being
answered. Just open your eyes and ears to the blessings of each day.