Our mission Christmases were mostly lonely times, but God gave us a gift on the second one.
We had made little scrolls that we tied in red ribbon. On the scrolls we had printed a short message that said:
“Silver and Gold have we none, but that which we have we give unto you. Two thousand years ago the Savior said, ‘Peace I leave with you, Peace I give unto you.’ We give you our love, and our wish that the Savior’s peace be with you.”
We went caroling to the members and the neighbors and left them with a scroll.
We had a number left over and nothing to do, so on Christmas day we went to the local hospital and asked the skeleton staff if we could walk around singing. They received us so much better than we were used to. They waved us in and asked us to sing for them too. We did. We sang a carol to every patient, along with some Spanish villancicos, and handed out the scrolls. Everyone cried. Everyone was in the mood to give and receive, to love and be loved. We, who were normally pariahs, were sought through the halls. Families wanted to make sure we didn’t miss their patient. The patients and their faithful families, who spent so much time enclosed in hospital walls, felt that the outside world had come inside to them, and brought the holiday. That day, I think, the scripture was fulfilled, the Messiah’s oath: Wherever two or three of you are gathered in my name . . .
Again it is Christmas, and though this time it is me and mine who have a sister in the hospital, we can truly say, Merry Christmas! On Earth Peace, Goodwill to Men. Christmas has conquered us, Christ has conquered us, the Manger has silenced Mammon, and bells will ring in the silence of the world.
All joy to you, my friends, all hearts, all happiness. May the little child, the Jesukin, lay down his head in your house tonight. Merry Christmas!