Life on the farm with the Man…and our critters…

Christmas spirit…

I’ve never had a particularly hard time getting into the Christmas spirit, but this year it has been a challenge.  It’s hard to find joy in the lights, the sounds, and the gifts when I am painfully aware that there are others who will not have a Christmas at all.  I’m not only talking about those in this country who struggle to buy presents for their children, but also those who won’t even have food to eat, let alone a Christmas dinner.  I have been fortunate in my life to have been able to travel this globe we call Earth, and while I’ve seen some amazing wonders, I’ve also walked village streets where barely clothed children play near open sewers.  I’ve held the hands of men, women, and children alike, who speak no English, and were scared and crying before having simple surgeries that we as Americans take for granted.  I’ve watched homeless people try to ignore the scorned looks on the faces of the well dressed people they were asking to spare some change so that they may buy some scraps of food.  I’ve watched the faces of those very same homeless people go from shame to joy as I sat myself down with them in the gutter, giving them validation that they are also one of God’s children.  These experiences, those faces…they haunt me.  And so once again this year, I dreaded the holiday season.  I even went so far as asking the Man to not buy me anything for Christmas, and I meant it.  There was no joy in Whoville this year, and all prayers for a change of heart or a Christmas miracle were going unanswered.  And then, there it was, my Christmas miracle. One of my friends, who is absolutely the brightest shining light I have ever met, has had her share of heartache, including losing siblings to cancer and being diagnosed with it herself a few years back. Through all of that, she shines and encourages all those that meet her to love one another and find joy in the smallest of things.  Last week, she was declared cancer free after almost 6 years. Her simple gift this Christmas is the gift of life, and daring to think of a future with her very large, extended family, including a new grandchild that is due next July.  In the days since hearing that wonderful news, I’ve started noticing the lights and hearing the music, and despite my honest attempts to squelch it, feeling the Christmas spirit.  I realized that while this world has it’s share of sadness and despair, it also has it’s moments where it shines.  Christmas is the one time of the year where people do their best to find the good in others, and put aside their own struggles in life.  Be it large or small, life gives us gifts on a daily basis.  All we have to do is look for them. 

2 responses


    Rick. What do i say to a man with so much compassion for the underdog? This blog is so very heartrendering. If only life was equal for everyone in the world and we did not have to feel such sorrow it would make life easier. I feel so guilty when i see the people and the little children living in hut’s and flies all over them. My heart just cries out to God. Why do you let these people suffer so. They have done nothing to deserve the way they are living. I hurt for them. And i feel guilty for having so much when they have so little. I guess i will just have to pray harder for them. One never know’s when they could end up out on the street with no where to go. I was watching 48 hour’s the other night and it was about the railroad murder’s. I became very scared and i asked Bob if all the door’s were locked. I don’t know what i would do if i was ever in such an awful position. However the world keep’s on turning. One never know’s what life has in store for them. It would be nice if it was only good thing’s, huh.

    December 14, 2010 at 12:20 am

  2. Betsy Matteson Crowell

    To my dear sweet friend Rick—What a lovely story! And to think I am part of it makes me feel so happy– I am so grateful and blessed to have received such a miracle—why am I the lucky one? I will continue to pray for miracles for everyone that is in need—we have been prayed for by so many for such a long time, that I don’t even know where to begin to say thank you to everyone. I am so happy to have you in my life and have you as a friend. We bonded so long ago, and share the same thoughts and love about life and the people we have found to share it all with. The best gifts in life are love and someone to give it to and receive it from. Jack and Mark are miracles in our lives and we couldn’t ask for more could we? New chapters and new life is about to happen—-expect a miracle and keep on shinin’ and always remember, that I am your friend for life—-thank you from the center of my soul—love you so, Bets xo

    December 14, 2010 at 1:53 am

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