The old man leaned back in the tattered lounger, kicking his slippers off as he felt the weight fly away from his tired body.  He’d been at the corner a long time, and finishing dinner he’d found comfort in his chair.  He didn’t mind holding a sign, and he didn’t mind the comments he heard, and he didn’t even mind that from day to day he went to the same place.  But what he did mind was the lack of laughter.  Mostly he missed children laughing.  This time of year it was not hearing them around the Christmas tree.  In his mind it seemed only a day or so when the kids came running into the room with their mother laughing and singing an off-key version of Jingle Bells.  And it was still so clear in his mind as he remembered when his two boys brought their family over with the grand-children.  They would open gifts, have dinner, and share all of Christmas day together.  How could that have been 30 years ago?  How could so many life times parade in front of him?

 

            “Oh, Lord”, he thought, “maybe tomorrow that family with the little red-haired girl who smiled and waved at me will come by again.  And that guy who I said a prayer in my heart for, the one who looked so angry, that guy who was beating his steering wheel until he looked at me, perhaps he’ll come back.  I pray Lord, will you have him drive by tomorrow?  Then there was the priest who had to sit so long after traffic backed up due to the light not working.  I had carried my sign down the traffic line and when I saw him, he rolled down his window and just stared.  Not a word spoken between us, but I noticed a single tear get about half way down his cheek before it evaporated away in this Arizona December sun.  But of all I saw this day,” the old man thought, “Lord, that guy on the motorcycle who had all those tattoos on his neck and bare arms.  The biker who reached out his hand and upon touching mine revved that Harley so loud that every head in every car turned to us, Lord, especially bless him.”

 

            As the old man’s eyes slowly closed, his lips moved with indistinct murmurs.  He thought, “Maybe tomorrow Lord, I’ll hear children laughing.  Do that for me dear God.  Through all the noise at that corner, let me hear laughter of children.  Yes, I’ll enjoy that very much.”  The old man’s arm fell to the side of his chair, knocking his sign resting against it flat onto the floor.  From the light in the street shining into his window, the writing on it could be read:  What do you think about the Christ?  Who’s son is he?

 

            In the street out beyond his room, a church bus drove by and the echo of voices singing Christmas songs drifted outward.  And somewhere else while shopping for the perfect gift, his loving Grandson’s wife spoke softly to her husband, “Tomorrow before you wheel Grandpa out to the sidewalk after lunch, let’s tell him.  It’ll be such good news to him.  His first great-grandchild!  Let’s do it tomorrow, okay?  What a wonderful Christmas gift it will be!”  And, before the nurse came to his room, the old man dreamed of the joy and laughter that was to come his way, “What a glorious life!  What a glorious God!  Thank you Lord Jesus!”

                                                                                                                       

                                                        Selah    

  What Do You Think About The Christ? by Ronhales                                                                                                                                                   Matthew 22:42           

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