Christmas Can’t Be Stopped

As Christmas fast approaches, three Christmas Eve stories come to mind.

In 1843 Charles Dickens wrote his classic, A Christmas Carol. Scrooge learns lessons from Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and  Yet to Come. These culminate in a changed life.

O. Henry wrote a short story in 1906 called, “The Gift of the Magi”. A young married couple, deeply in love, but poor, seek a gift to give to each other. Between them they have two treasures, her beautiful long hair and his watch, a family heirloom. Through their selfless love, each sacrifices their treasure to buy a gift for the other. She, selling her hair to buy a chain for his watch. He, selling his watch to buy beautiful combs for her hair. 

Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas, written in 1957, recounts the escapades of the Grinch as he tries to stop Christmas from coming to the Whos down in Who-ville. As the Grinch waited to hear the “BOO-HOO” he was shocked.

“Every Who down in Who-ville, the tall and the small,
Was singing! Without any presents at all!”
“He HADN’T stopped Christmas from coming!
IT CAME!”

“Mankind is my business.” Marley told Scrooge. 
Christmas is about gifts given in love. 
It is, as Grinch said, “Maybe Christmas…perhaps… means a little bit more!” 

Christmas can’t be stopped. 
I am thankful for the greatest gift given on the very first Christmas. 
A gift of love for all mankind.
I will try to do as Scrooge pledged to, “…honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.”

Lessons of the Jigsaw Puzzle

“I’m missing a piece!” My plaintive cry resounds through the empty kitchen. 

You’d think a brand new puzzle would not have a missing piece! But somehow it has happened, and I will have to write the company to tell them of the mishap in their production.

I certainly didn’t lose the piece! The puzzle rests undisturbed on the kitchen table, just like the other 36 puzzles I completed during virus lock down. 

And, I know this piece is missing, because only green palm trees, brown tree trunks, and blue sky pieces are left.

My missing piece belongs next to the octopus. It is the color of sand. I’ve touched each piece I have left and there is no plain, sandy-colored piece!

I imagined a beautiful puzzle, now going to be incomplete.

What a shame, I lamented to myself!

All anyone will be able to look at is that one blank spot.

It will never be beautiful.

It will never be perfect, I thought.

The missing piece was the last lesson this jigsaw puzzle had for me. 

But we argued from the beginning.

“I can’t do this! It’s too hard!” I had whined when frame pieces wouldn’t connect, and every piece looked the same.

I’d stab around, listlessly poking pieces at each other, until, “Hey, what do you know? That fit!”

Jigsaw lesson #1:

Don’t give up.              

                         Philipians 4:13        

I can do all things through Christ.

The piece with the cluster of coconuts fit snugly in the center of a palm tree. It looked good. Its color and shape said I was right. But then the remaining pieces, did not connect, no matter how hard I tried to cram them together.

“Faulty puzzle,” I moaned to myself.

The puzzle and I were at a stand-off.

This forced me to reexamine my choice.

Hmm, just maybe…

I removed the ‘for sure’ piece and surprise! The piece I thought fit,  ‘for sure’, was wrong. It had to come out before the correct piece could go in, that is, of course, if I wanted the puzzle picture to turn out correctly.

Jigsaw lesson #2: 

I must take the wrong piece out, before the right piece can get in.

In life situations, if I hold onto unforgiveness, love will never get a chance in. 

But if I let go of unforgiveness, there will be room for the truly best piece, love.

I Corinthians  13:8  Love never fails.

Which brings me to my last jigsaw lesson. 

The lesson of the piece I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, was missing. 

I knew it wasn’t there.

I’d looked and looked.

                     And then,     

             I  picked up this piece.

Hmm, this piece couldn’t be the right one. Look at that little cloud. My missing piece is just a plain, sandy-colored piece….

Jigsaw lesson #3:

         You don’t know. Even when you are so sure. You don’t know how something that seems impossible, something you know won’t work out, something that could never be good again, could never be perfect… 

When you put your trust in God.

The “impossible” can happen.

Luke 1:37   For with God nothing will be impossible.