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Old 12-24-2011, 06:24 AM   #2640
caterinafmig
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Location: Reisterstown, Maryland
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Christmas Eve Inspiration

Luke 2:15-16 "When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger."

Billy was getting cold sitting out in his back yard in the snow. Billy
didn't wear boots; he didn't like them and anyway, he didn't own any. The
thin sneakers he wore had a few holes in them and they did a poor job of
keeping out the cold. Billy had been in his backyard for about an hour,
already. And, try as he might, he could not come up with an idea for his
mother's Christmas gift. He shook his head as he thought, "This is
useless, even if I do come up with an idea, I don't have any money to
spend."

Ever since his father had passed away three years ago, the family of five
had struggled. It wasn't because his mother didn't care, or try, there
just never seemed to be enough. She worked nights at the hospital, but the
small wage that she was earning could only be stretched so far.

What the family lacked in money and material things, they more than made
up for in love and family unity. Billy had two older and one younger
sister, who ran the household in their mother's absence. All three of his
sisters had already made beautiful gifts for their mother. Somehow it just
wasn't fair. Here it was Christmas Eve already, and he had nothing.

Wiping a tear from his eye, Billy kicked the snow and started to walk down
to the street where the shops and stores were. It wasn't easy being six
without a father, especially when he needed a man to talk to. Billy walked
from shop to shop, looking into each decorated window.

Everything seemed so beautiful and so out of reach.

It was starting to get dark and Billy reluctantly turned to walk home when
suddenly, his eyes caught the glimmer of the setting sun's rays reflecting
off of something along the curb. He reached down and discovered a shiny
dime. Never before has anyone felt so wealthy as Billy felt at that
moment.

As he held his new-found treasure, a warmth spread throughout his entire
body and he walked into the first store he saw. His excitement quickly
turned cold when the salesperson told him that he couldn't buy anything
with only a dime.

He saw a flower shop and went inside to wait in line. When the shop owner
asked if he could help him, Billy presented the dime and asked if he could
buy one flower for his mother's Christmas gift. The shop owner looked at
Billy and his ten-cent offering.

Then he put his hand on Billy's shoulder and said to him, "You just wait
here and I'll see what I can do for you." As Billy waited, he looked at
the beautiful flowers and even though he was a boy, he could see why
mothers and girls liked flowers.

The sound of the door closing as the last customer left jolted Billy back
to reality. All alone in the shop, Billy began to feel alone and afraid.
Suddenly the shop owner came out and moved to the counter.

There, before Billy's eyes, lay twelve long stem, red roses, with leaves
of green and tiny white flowers all tied together with a big silver bow.
Billy's heart sank as the owner picked them up and placed them gently into
a long white box.

"That will be ten cents young man," the shop owner said reaching out his
hand for the dime. Slowly, Billy moved his hand to give the man his dime.
Could this be true? No one else would give him a thing for his dime!

Sensing the boy's reluctance, the shop owner added, "I just happened to
have some roses on sale for ten cents a dozen. Would you like them?"

This time Billy did not hesitate, and when the man placed the long box
into his hands, he knew it was true. Walking out the door that the owner
was holding for Billy, he heard the shopkeeper say, "Merry Christmas,
son."

As the shopkeeper returned inside, the shopkeeper's wife walked out. "Who
were you talking to back there and where are the roses you were fixing?"

Staring out the window, and blinking the tears from his own eyes, he
replied, "A strange thing happened to me this morning. While I was setting
up things to open the shop, I thought I heard a voice telling me to set
aside a dozen of my best roses for a special gift. I wasn't sure at the
time whether I had lost my mind or what, but I set them aside, anyway.

Then just a few minutes ago, a little boy came into the shop and wanted to
buy a flower for his mother with one small dime.

"When I looked at him, I saw myself, many years ago. I, too, was a poor
boy with nothing to buy my mother a Christmas gift. A bearded man, whom I
never knew, stopped me on the street and told me that he wanted to give me ten dollars. "When I saw that little boy tonight, I knew who that voice
was, and I put together a dozen of my very best roses." The shop owner and
his wife hugged each other, tightly, and as they stepped out into the
bitter cold air, they somehow didn't feel cold at all.

May this story instill the spirit of CHRISTmas in you.
__________________
Caterina www.colesfoundation.org www.colespages.com www.kidsunitetofight.com
Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
America will only be the land of the free so long as it is the home of the Brave
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