The magic of Christmas

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The magic of  Christmas

In a small town in Russia, in the outskirts of Moscow, one cold winter afternoon, on the eve of Christmas, a small boy shuffled through the layers of snow that had piled up on the streets.  He had wrapped his arms around himself though little did that do to keep him from freezing and walked up the narrow road till he came to a small run down house at the end of the street.

 The door of the house opened.  A young woman stood there.Her cheeks were red from the cold and her arms were open wide.  The little boy ran the remaining distance and rushed into his mother's arms.  His mother laughed, "Hello Stefan.  Did you have a nice lesson?" she said pulling him indoors.  "Oh yes, mama," he answered, "We even have homework for Sunday School after the New Year."

 There was silence as his mother heated their supper at the tiny stove.  "Mama," he asked suddenly, "What's magical about Christmas?"  "Everything, Stefan.  Christmas brings the most wonderful things with it.  Good things happen to people who believe in Baby Jesus."  "You mean, like miracles?"  "Yes Stefan, miracles."

That night Stefan and his mother cuddled close together on their tiny bed.  The wind was whooshing through the slits under the doors and snow was falling heavily.  In the silence of the house, Stefan lay awake thinking about baby Jesus.

Lost in thoughts a sharp creak brought him back to the room.  Stefan knew that only his front door made a noise like that.  He heard footsteps.  He clutched his sleeping mother's hands and shook her.  The footsteps came closer and a big burly man stood at their door with a stick in his hands.  His mother screamed and pulled Stefan behind her.  "Run Stefan," she cried.  Stefan dodged around the man who paid no notice to him.  His eyes were fixed on the little cupboard beside the bed.  Stefan, who was at the front door by now, turned back to beckon his mother to the door.  The man by then gave her a hard blow to the side of her head which brought her gasping to the floor.  He flung open the cupboard and without even looking at what was in it began dumping the contents into his bag.

"I must go get help," thought Stefan, running and crying.  It was bitterly cold and Stefan had nothing on but his pajamas and a shirt, but the chill did not bother him, for all he thought was of his mother.  "There is nothing magical about Christmas," he shouted in despair into the open sky.  "Nothing."  Stefan's legs were growing numb from the cold and his tears made an icy trail down his face.  Why wasn't there anyone on the streets? he thought.   All he saw was piles of snow.  He knew he had come the wrong way.  He should have gone into the denser parts of town where he could have got some help.  But still he ran gasping and hoping against hope that the magic of Christmas could still save him.

He ran around the corner.  A thin crack of light met his eyes.  Through blurred eyes he saw the dark outline of a steeple rising from the roof of a church.  Thankfully he pushed open the door.  He vaguely could make out a big cross hanging at the back.  He stumbled a few steps forward but his legs swayed beneath and he fell to the ground.  His vision was already fading but not before the face of a lady met him.  Kind eyes bore into his.  "My mother," he gasped.  She is there …hurt…" he stammered but could say no more as unconsciousness overpowered him.

"After I woke up I found myself in a hospital and my mama was next to me.  The nurse at the hospital told me that a lady brought me there and informed the authorities that my mama was injured.  She did not leave a name.  Though the burglar got away with  my mama's savings, we are both still alive.  Thanks to that lady, who was a miracle in disguise," Stefan told his audience at the Sunday School class.
Christmas sure is magical and miracles do happen.  All it takes is a little faith.

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