On December 26, 2004, Patty and Bob North received the news that their daughter, Libby, had been seriously injured by that devastating tsunami that had hit Thailand. For days, the Norths were unable to locate the hospital where Libby was receiving treatment. Their situation would have been unbearable had it not been for the kindness of strangers. First, the Norths learned that Libby had been rescued by three Thai men who dug her out from under her collapsed bungalow. A young American woman whose father was in the same hospital as Libby called the Norths and kept them updated with e-mails until they arrived in Thailand. A local hotel let the Norths stay for free. During a stressful time, the Norths found many reasons for gratitude. As Patty comments, “If you ever feel like the world’s going to hell, it isn’t. You can find love in total strangers.” And that is the heart of Christmas. Love. Acceptance. Grace. It doesn’t matter who you are.
You can live in Caesar’s palace or you can be a lowly shepherd on a Judean hillside. God’s love is for you. So, give thanks this day for the heart of Christmas. In everything you do spread that love to everyone you meet.