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It was Christmas Eve, actually Christmas morning about 2 a.m. The deep of night was dark, the air was cold and crisp, the wind brisk, and I was making my bed check rounds as a prison guard. I was working the minimum custody dorm where the inmates were housed in large rooms with 20 inmates to a room. Each side of the room was lined with beds in which slept the inmate residents of what was called the "Farm Dorm." It was time for count and I was making my rounds early that first Christmas morning of my married life.
As I eased the door to the dorm room opened, trying not to let it squeak and awaken the men, I looked down the long room and at the sleeping forms of twenty convicted criminals. Burglars, robbers, rapists, even one or two incarcerated for murder. I needed to count them, to make sure they were all still in their proper place.
I distinctly remember entering the room and being struck by the powerful realization that on that Christmas day, the baby Jesus had been given to these men also. A free gift. Not just to those who had been privileged in life. Those who had good jobs, good homes, good families. But, he had come even for these men too. I had to pause a moment to collect my thoughts before I, their jailer, continued my rounds. I don't think I'll ever forget the sight of those men sleeping on Christmas morning. Sleeping and not even yet fully aware that Jesus had come as a gift for them also. I resolved then to do my best to let them know about the gift. John 6:47 says, "I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life." How will they know if we do not tell them?
~ Chuck Wilkes
Daily Scripture Readings*
How easy it is to forget that it wasn't only for the people "just like me" that You came to bless with Your Presence. Lord, nearly every day this year I will be confronted with someone who isn't "just like me." Help me to remember that I wasn't "just like You" before I came to know You as my personal Savior. Help me to remember that I am still not "just like You." But, You love me anyway. Help me be an example of that love, and Your grace.
Music provided by Christmas Holiday Merry Midi.
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