My friend Ross told me when he became middle-aged his life was a wreck. Divorced and depressed, he had stopped trying to lead a Christian life.
Ross kept odd hours, partied all the time, and did not care that his loud music disturbed the neighbors.
But Christmas was coming. For Ross it was the loneliest time of the year: no family, no feasts, no presents.
No amount of loud music could fill his emptiness.
Then just before Christmas, a knock came at his door. There stood an elderly neighbor bearing a luscious chocolate pie.
She had ample reason to criticize and condemn him. Instead, she had baked him a pie.
As Ross sliced through the warm filling, hope was born in his heart. Someone, he told himself, thinks I am worth saving.
Ross returned to church, to his faith and found a new way of living.
In time Ross married Carol, a beautiful Christian woman. Whether baking biscuits for Sunday School, harvesting hay or playing guitar in a blue grass band, his life was good.
“Every year at Christmas,” Ross concluded his story, “I remember with gratitude that wonderful Christian neighbor and her delicious chocolate pie.”
Now hear the rest of the story.
Moved by Ross’s story, I submitted it to The Upper Room, a magazine distributed by the United Methodist Church. They published the piece December 13th, 1996.
This month, twenty-two years later, I read that Ross was inducted into the Atlanta Country Music Hall of Fame.
God loves us so much that he sent his only son with a wonderful message. Whoever follows me will find abundant and eternal life. –Jesus
Good tidings, great joy–what Christmas is all about.
Coming soon Flynn and the Dragonfly–a book to help distracted kids come along and belong.