As I woke up alone this Christmas morning, no tree, no gifts, no family or friends and nothing to do, so I decided today being Christmas would be about the reason for the season, Jesus. It’s his birthday after all so I decided to take a walk and find Christmas and all that Christmas brings.
It snowed last night, right on time for Christmas, so the air was clear and crisp and the view of the streets were priceless. Just enough snow to let you know, Santa was here. I actually didn’t know why I was outside but as I walked, the mission became very clear. To be one with God on this day, to allow him to share with me what Christmas brings (his son Jesus). LOOKING FOR CHRISTMAS in all the wrong places, as we all often do.
As I walked, my first reminder of “Christ”mas was a church on the street corner. As I walked by the church with Christmas wreaths on its doors, the spirit spoke to me and It stopped me dead in my tracks. I had to pull the camera out and take a picture. The spirit said, “the doors of the church are open”!
I have often heard this many of times in the church, “the doors of the church are open”, as the preacher preached and asked for new members and it made me wonder, “why aren’t the doors of the church open on Christmas day”? ALL DAY!
I mean Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ yet as I walked many miles in my quest to find Christmas, the doors to many churches were closed and empty.
In my heart, I see open doors, I see people piling in to celebrate Jesus. Lighting a candle in his honor, singing him praises, at all hours of Christmas day. What a perfect way for those who are alone to be able to feel the love that Christmas brings. To honor Jesus and his ultimate sacrifice.
So I continued my walk and my wonder in the empty streets that were blessed with snow on Christmas day, yet not enough for the kids to play.
As cars passed by, there were no HAPPY HOLIDAY WAVES or smiles on anyone’s face. Some wore Christmas hats and others wore faces of stress as they hurried along their merry way.
I ventured into downtown where it’s always busy, only to find the streets so empty, no creature was stirring, not even a mouse. I passed by many churches along the way, closed doors is all they say. I couldn’t find Christmas anywhere.
The sandwich shop was empty, no one waiting in line to eat. The coffee shop was shut down, no one roasting beans at its peak.
There was the music store not playing any tunes and the mad hatter bar and grill was on chill.
The further I walked the emptier the streets got and the churches, kept coming my way, yet I didn’t stray, I kept hope alive in finding Christmas today. I passed a beautiful Ice sculpture and Christmas wreaths and finally a human came trotting by, I happily exclaimed “Merry Christmas”, only to hear absolutely nothing in return. No one was home, as he hurried on. Oh well.
What’s funny is, this walk was completely narrated by Jesus with every step that I took, like I was writing a book. OKayyy….. so, God was in complete control, I get this. I am out looking for his son so what was I expecting. Nothing but the best intentions.
The only place that showed signs of activity and people were at the hotel downtown. There were cars and a few people, a family of such, walking to their car. Skipping and playing along the way with smiles on their face. That made my day. I moved on.
I wondered what happened to the lonely people today, what was open that would allow them human contact so they didn’t feel alone. Where could they go to not feel so sad and lonely? I took pictures of the things I saw so that I would not forget, the city has shut down so that they can celebrate today but what are they celebrating? Could it be …. Christmas or Jesus or nothing at all. Maybe just a quiet day to not work or deal with life, for just one day.
I walked, in the cold as my feet began to get tired, my love for Christ carried me further. I’m on a mission to find Christmas and I can’t let my sore feet stop me.
I’ve walked so far, yet I haven’t found Jesus. . . as I turn the corner to head back in a different direction, I pass by more churches with closed doors and empty parking lots.
The businesses were empty, the parking meters were just the same and Jesus was to blame. There was no one at the print shop to get papers printed. The attorney office was closed, no one to bail out in time to go home for Christmas.
The local library read CLOSED for the day, and as I passed the GREYHOUND bus station, there was no one there to greet me. Empty, as if the world ended last night while I was sleeping.
My feet are tired and the narrations are dwindling …
I see more churches, beautiful as they stand yet because they are empty, I begin to wonder. The doors of the church should be open today, for the people who wish to worship Jesus in their own way. Where do I go and what do I do? I was beginning to have no clue. But then again, God was speaking to me and Jesus was walking with me as I took each step… remember, he’s my narrator.
I see the city park and there is a very large Christmas Tree, let’s go see!
I make my way over to the tree and there is no one there singing …no Christmas carols or praises to Jesus. Just empty, yet the plaque reads, it was gifted for people and “the gathering”. Yet today, no one cared to gather, and sing yule time themes.
I pause, I prayed, I continued on my way when I’m stopped in amazement as what I hear in the background somewhere …omg I stopped and starred … behind me, its coming from behind me, the sound of what Christmas brings, so I quickly pulled out my video and start recording so I don’t forget that sound. ITS THE SOUND OF CHRISTMAS MUSIC BEING PLAYED OUT-LOUD!
The entire surrounding of the church on the corner and I need to be a part of this, so as I record, I start walking. Walking faster and faster as I enjoy the noise of Christmas carols played with love.
As I get closer and I cross the street, I arrive with a smile on my face, only for the music to silently fade away. IT STOPPED! OH NO … are you serious?
I thought I found Christmas yet it was just for that moment and I’m assuming it was to help me understand where exactly Christmas is. It wasn’t at that church, that’s for sure.
I began my journey home, empty handed and empty heart, when God spoke to me this:
“Christmas is all about my son Jesus and you cannot find him anywhere but here” (as he pointed to my heart) and he explained that what I was looking for was already inside of me. ‘The bible my dear child is what CHRISTMAS brings”. It brings the TRUTH about Christmas and the story to be told, and however you celebrate Jesus will be your CHRISTMAS!
To honor, to love and to obey, that’s how you find Christmas today!
I kept walking in the direction of home, for there was no need to keep looking for Christmas, or Jesus in this ice cold.
I passed by the empty fire station, no sirens going off and no flag at half staff. I passed by the empty train tracks, no trains delivering goods today. I passed by house after house and what I see, some acknowledge with Christmas decorations and wreaths. The local news paper company was empty as a cave, no stories about Jesus on this Christmas day.
I saw through a window, a few gathered around the Christmas tree, wearing Santa hats and laughing. Made me smile as I head home alone, taking pictures of the reminders of what Christmas is to some.
As I walked I began to pray for every house and business that I passed and my feet touched its pathways, praying for their peace and happiness for today… my walk was not done in vain. It taught me where to find CHRISTMAS in the most amazing type of way.
I picked up pine cones and kicked a few rocks … I FINALLY FOUND JESUS/CHRISTMAS and he was always in my heart.
We spend so much time, shopping for gifts and spending money on useless things, we forget the true meaning of Christmas. Jesus was born as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins, doesn’t he deserve to have a seat at your table or a gift under your tree? What are you doing to celebrate Jesus on a day set aside for him?
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO JESUS, I SHALL NEVER SEARCH FOR CHRISTMAS AGAIN!
THANK YOU GOD FOR PUTTING YOUR SON ON THE TREE AND NOT UNDER IT! In Jesus name We pray for Christmas peace!
Summer N. Bradshau
A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO APPLETON WISCONSIN FOR HELPING FIND JESUS ON CHRISTMAS DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! #AppletonWisconsin