Full of Joy

December 25, 2020  •   Tracy Earl Welliver

The Holy Family at the manger of Jesus

Last year we waited much too long to buy our Christmas trees. We usually have one in the living room and then one by the large window in our room that sits at the front of the house. Essentially, there is one for us to see and then one for all the neighbors walking their dogs in the December cold. If you wait too long to buy a fresh tree you might just not find a tree. But last year I found one tree lot I had not bought from in the past. Luckily, they had some great trees. The price was a little higher than I was used to, but a tree would be mine no matter what.

What I found interesting at the lot was a group of about nine young people sitting around a fire, laughing and drinking coffee. I wondered, “All of these people for a tree lot late at night and this late in the season?” What I found out was that these weren’t paid workers. These were recovering drug and alcohol addicts. This was their rehab’s tree lot, and this was their service and group therapy. I spoke to a couple of them and found they were the nicest people around. They were full of joy for the new life they had found and thankful for the people who helped bring them through the trial of their lives. Suddenly, that tree they sold me seemed more beautiful and majestic than it had when I first drove up.

This Christmas may the Lord that slept in a manger provide for your rest. May the God that gives many gifts to all of us bless you abundantly. And may the Prince of Peace help you to find true gratitude for the gift of life. May you and yours feel the joy of the season, like a group of recovering addicts around a campfire on a cold December night.

— Tracy Earl Welliver, MTS

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