Monday, December 2, 2002

Shooting Up Christmas

by Blake Cromwell

Christmas morning was ruined. In utter disbelief, my parents surveyed the damage my brothers and I had created. It might not have been so bad had my parents not planned to sell the house just after Christmas.

As I viewed the hundreds of tiny holes in the sheet rock of my bedroom wall I realized Christmas Dinner wouldn’t be pleasant for any of us. At the not so tender age of ten, it was certainly going to be the worse Christmas of my life. Now Dad was sending us to his room to lay over his bed and wait for you know what.

As I lay waiting, I rehearsed the morning’s events. My brothers and I had awakened very early that Christmas morn to quietly whisk our Christmas gifts out from under the tree and creep back to our rooms for closer inspection.

With great joy, we unwrapped three of the most beautiful Red Ryder BB guns you ever did see. Just weeks earlier our dad had told us that BB guns would make fine gifts since we would be moving to Hanford just after Christmas. Year after long year we had begged for BB guns only to hear that LA wasn’t a good place for them. We ripped them from their thick, protective cardboard packaging and hoisted them into the air in triumph —three “Great White Hunters.” Discovering that the BBs served as that year’s stocking stuffers, we commenced to fill our rifle chambers.

To be honest, I don’t remember whose idea it was to set the remains of the cardboard packaging against our bedroom wall for target practice, but I am very sure that once discovered, I told Dad that it had been my brother, Steve. He was the oldest and still to this day I blame him because I can’t face the fact that I was just so stupid. Stupid, to think those boxes would stop a BB. We lined up all three boxes side by side and began to blast away with glee. It wasn’t until we were almost out of BBs that Dad appeared.

As Dad moved one of the targets to reveal the damaged wall I could feel the tears begin to flow. We really did feel bad because we knew that we had let Dad and Mom down. Dad never did spank us that morning, but he told us something that has stayed with me to this day. He told us that he forgave us and that he would fix the problem. That ten-year old boy just couldn’t see how the wall could ever be fixed. For the next week, every morning I awoke to see the results of my actions on the bedroom wall. But Dad was true to his word. Within two weeks the old sheet rock was removed and replaced. The wall was painted over and all evidence of that terrible Christmas morning had vanished.

That sight was a better Christmas gift then my BB gun. It showed me that a bad situation could be turned around. All one needed was the help of someone like my dad.

All these years later I have found that in the Bible we have a Father who will help us in our hour of need, just like my dad did that Christmas. The Bible refers to God as “Father” hundreds of times. In one place Scripture declares, “If you, as earthly fathers, who are imperfect, know how to give good gifts to your children how much more will your Father in heaven give the help of the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.”

At ten I didn’t understand how my dad could fix that wall, but he told me he could and he did. Now at fifty I still don’t know how God can fix some problems I get myself into but He has promised to answer when I call. If you are facing difficulties, even impossible situations, why don’t you call out to your Father in heaven to help you. Romans 8:28 declares, “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God.” One version of the Bible quotes this verse like this, “That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives is worked into something good because we love God.”

During this Christmas Season the Pastors in the Kings County would love to tell you how much your Heavenly Father loves you and that He can work something good out of a bad situation. We want you to know God’s greatest gift to you is His Son Jesus.

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