I’d like to share a story with you by Moss Hart called, Two Lonely People:
“We hurried to the cluster of lights that was 149th Street and Westchester Avenue and started down the line of pushcarts. I would pause before each one and say, (with as much control as I could muster), ‘Look at that chemistry set,’ or ‘Look at that stamp album,’ or ‘Look at that printing press.’ Each time my father would pause and ask the pushcart man the price. Then, without a word, we would move on to the next. Once or twice he picked up a toy of some kind and looked at me as if to suggest that this might be something I would like. But I was 10 years old and beyond, ‘just a toy’. My heart was set on a chemistry set or a printing press. They were on every pushcart but the price was always the same.
As we looked at the last pushcart, I heard my father jingle some coins in his pocket. In a flash I knew it all. He’d gotten together about 75 cents to buy me a Christmas present and he hadn’t dared to say so in case there wasn’t anything to be had for so small a sum. As I looked up at him and saw the look of despair in his eyes, it brought me closer to him than I think I have ever been in my life. I wanted to throw my arms around him and say, ‘It doesn’t matter. I understand. This is better than a chemistry set or a printing press. I love you.’ But, instead, we just stood shivering beside each other for a minute before turning away from the pushcarts and silently starting back home. I didn’t take his hand on the way home, nor did he take mine. We were not on that basis. Nor did I ever tell him how close to him I felt that night. But for a little while, the concrete wall between father and son had crumbled away, and I knew that we were two lonely people struggling to reach each other.”
I pray that this Christmas, unlike every other Christmas time you’ve ever experienced, is a current experience in recognizing and feeling the tremendous activity in the manger of your own heart of the birth of the Christ in you, your hope of glory.