Thursday, December 22, 2016


My teenage son, Chris, had terminal cancer, and we were reminiscing. "What is your favorite memory?" I had asked.

In his thirteen years of life he had enjoyed many privileges such as trips to theme parks, ski adventures, and Caribbean vacations. So his answer surprised me.

"When I was five, Mom, we sat under the Christmas tree and practiced my ABC's."

A tender moment in time—a mother and child enjoying the beauty of Christmas, and sharing a bit of learning.

It makes me think about Christ and his disciples. They walked many miles from town to town as Jesus preached to the crowds. But Jesus would eventually grow weary and gently gather his closest friends. Away from the crowds and excitement they enjoyed a rare and beautiful intimacy.

John 18:1: "When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was a garden, and he and his disciples went into it."

This is what my Chris had treasured most, our quiet time together. 

And there we were, a mother and child, exploring the very basics of the written word in Englishthe alphabet. Laughing under the tree lights, pursing our lips, making exaggerated letter sounds, unknowingly we had created a cherished memory.

Wise beyond his years, our Chris had known what was important. He was drawn to the quiet moments of love.

This is also what our pastor says every Sunday when he speaks of developing our relationship with the Lord. "Spend quiet time each day in the word."

Dear readers, please don't forget that lesson during this busy holiday season. Find time to put away the electronics and turn off the TV for a while. Listen to the stories of your parents and grandparents. Laugh with your children and grandchildren. Give them each some individual time. And spend some quiet time with the Lord. Unwrap that blessed gift together.

Perhaps you have a loved one who is declining, and you may be enjoying your last Christmas together. Ask them about their favorite memories. Don't miss the chance to make one more.

What is your favorite Christmas memory?