Nudgings #51 - Dec. 3 "I’m Thankful"
Nudgings #53 - Dec. 24 "Why?"

Nudgings #52 - Dec. 17 "The Light"


The Light

The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light. And for those who lived in the land where death casts its shadow, a light has shined. (Matthew 4:16, NLT)

I was only five years old, but I still remember the light.

It was Christmas Eve, 1971. After my dad got off work, our family—my mom, dad, baby sister, and I—all loaded into our family car, a 1969 Volkswagen Bug, and headed for my grandparents' home in Jerome, Idaho to celebrate Christmas with a house full of aunts, uncles, cousins, loving family, and fun. It was snowing and blowing when we left Boise. What was supposed to be a two-hour journey turned into a long, slow drive into a dark and snowy night.

The wind blew, and the snow swirled the entire trip, blanketing everything in white. We finally turned off the main road onto the quarter-mile long lane that led to my grandparents’ farmhouse and were surprised to find that drifting snow had formed a barrier across our path. My dad, hoping to break through the drifts, accelerated the car and I was thrilled. I remember the roar of the VW engine, the unsettling sound of snow scraping on the floorboards beneath our feet, and the car slowly coming to a dead stop. Our headlights were buried under snow, and with the engine running we sat there in total darkness—completely stuck.

Still a long way from the house, all we could do was trek the remaining distance on foot. It wasn’t going to be easy for my parents—trudging through the deep snow with a baby, a five-year-old, and all of our belongings. However, a glimmer of hope appeared in the dark night. Down the lane, a flashlight flickered and slowly moved toward us. It was my granddad on his tractor, making his way through the snow to our rescue.

I was captivated by that light. It was just a flashlight, but it pierced the darkness. As it approached, the outline of the tractor chugging through the snow emerged, and then, finally, I could see the smile on my granddad’s face. He leaped off the tractor, gave us all hugs, hooked a chain to the front of the car, and pulled us home through the swirling snow. Within minutes we were enveloped in the radiant glow of love, family, and a joyous Christmas celebration.

Where do you find yourself this Christmas? Feeling stuck? Trapped? Lost in the darkness? Here's some good news—a glimmer of hope. “The angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.’” There it is, the real meaning of Christmas. A light has dawned and the rescuer has come to bring us home—it is Jesus.

Over fifty years later, I still remember that Christmas Eve—the long trip, the dark night, getting stuck in the snow, my grandfather’s smile, and the joyous fun.

But most of all . . . I remember the light.

Merry Christmas.


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