BY: TAMI HARPER WINN
The holiday lights are strung across the ice covered sidewalks. Shops are filled with decorations for the season. Cars inch along at the pace of snails trying to get home to their loved ones. There on the corner of here and there is a bearded man, cloaked in a dirty coat and beanie in the blowing snow, holding a cardboard sign that says, “Anything will help”.
As the cars pass, he stands frozen in time. The entire world is passing him by. Do they know its Christmas time at all? I pull over at the convenience store and grab a cup of hot coffee. I take the extra scarf I have in my back seat and drive back to the corner the man stands at. Rolling down the window in the freezing wind, I hand him the coffee and scarf and offer him a smile. Tears well up in his eyes as he accepts the gift and he nods his head.
I drive forward, inching along to a warm home filled with holiday cheer. I have tons of family and friends that I love and adore who grace my doorstep this Christmas bearing gifts and good tidings. I think of him all the way home.
This year I will not tie on one too many brandy and eggnog. I will not be obnoxiously insulting everyone I say I love. Nor will my children find me half naked, passed out under the Christmas tree. I will not see a night where I wonder where I will sleep, how I will get my next drink, or who will ever love me again. My best friend will never be that bottle again if I stay the course – God willing.
My story could’ve been similar to that man who stood on the street corner. I was one drink away from finding myself standing across the street from him on the other corner. Tonight I remember. Tonight I thank the powers that be for sending me an angel to offer warmth to. I thank that bearded man for letting me be kind to him and I pray for him – whatever his story is.
I do not know his story. I have imagined it many different ways. All I know is he is my brother. He is someone’s somebody. He was someone’s child and he is definitely one of God’s children. I am a sucker for the underdog. I am that person who would adopt every stray or abandoned pet and take every homeless person in if I could. Thank goodness that’s not possible. I do not have boundaries that way. So God keeps my house small and my budget smaller so I can help in the way he needs me to be of maximum service.
Although I am feeling sadness for those in the world tonight like the angel with a sign, I am feeling gratitude for the life I have today. Not that his misfortune is something to capitalize on, but to be silently nudged to remember who I am and who saved me.
Tonight I will wrap up with a warm blanket near a fire place with hot tea. I will have Christmas music playing in the background and I will marvel at the beautiful home and family I have. This is my gratitude entry. I have all of this today for more reasons than one, but one of those reasons are simply because I didn’t drink today. God bless you all this day and every day. May there be peace on earth. I will be praying for you and sending you light and love. May you find your way home, wherever that it.
~ Tami Harper Winn ~
The story written here is solely the work of the author’s. Any use or reproduction of this article is prohibited without written consent of the author or credit to the author through works cited.