Headlines from First Thoughts

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Monday, December 25- The Christmas Angel in the Brown Hat

Two weeks ago, I received this letter from someone who passed by our church. It's a wonderful story and worth sharing "in her own words."

Merry Christmas!

The Christmas Angel in the Brown Hat

Silent Night was playing on the radio as I drove to work. I love the holy day season because of the birth of God’s Son. The crowds of people shopping and rushing around to find that perfect turkey or ham for their Christmas dinner make it very stressful.

I arrived at work all smiles; I had to make a good impression. I was working as a temp and as a temp you would like to be hired full time, so you try a little harder. In most cases a temp is treated like you have a bad case of measles. Your co-workers do not realize you are just like everyone else in the office, you just need a job. I had begun to get used to it by now, so I kept smiling.

This was the second Friday of the month, so that meant pay day. The company I worked for did all their banking in the middle of downtown Knoxville. Oh hey!! This meant I would have to drive in that downtown mess, use up my lunch and be in a worse mood than I was already in.

The temperature was about freezing, but for some reason I did not feel cold. I hate to say it but I was enjoying the Christmas trees on top of the buildings. I really did not know Knoxville had such beautiful old buildings in the downtown area. This walk was becoming very nice.

I finally see the bank that was a quick two blocks. My eyes focus in on something else in front of the First Baptist Church. I was simply frozen in my tracks. In front of me was the most beautiful manger scene I had ever seen. I was in kind of a hurry to get to the bank, but I knew I would be stopping on the way back to my car.

I left the bank and raced to see this wonderful treasure I had found. I stood in front of the First Baptist Church and listened to O Holy Night playing in the background. I had found Christmas in the middle of a busy street and I wanted to tell everyone about it. So I decided to write about it when I got home. I am a long way from being a Nobel peace writer, but I do my best. As I stood there I could feel the presence of another person standing near me, almost shoulder to shoulder I might add. Gosh!! Does he have to stand so close--there is a whole sidewalk?

The gentleman was of small frame, well dressed and very polite. On his head he was wearing a brown dress hat and holding a walking cane with a gold tip on the handle. I looked him over from head to toe, not knowing if I needed to run or see what he was doing standing so close. As we stood there together not saying a word, he finally spoke. “This is beautiful is it not?” It seemed that he came out of nowhere and he was asking me questions. “Do you know how many people stop and take time to admire this?” he asked. “I have no idea,” I answered, somewhat puzzled. I was so shocked at his response: “Only three or four a day.”

I thought to myself, “That cannot be right.” It was hard to believe that something so beautiful could be taken for granted. It came to me that we, as humans, take our Savior for granted a lot. God loves us every day not just at Christmas.

As my friend, yes I said my friend, walked away, he tipped his brown hat, tapped his cane and said, and “God bless you for taking time to stop.” I was speechless, so I just gave him a smile and a big wave.

In a moment my heart was changed so much. It was filled with a peace and thankfulness to have met someone so special. I did not ask him his name, so I call him “My Angel in the Brown Hat.” I was really happy I had to cash my check that day. I do not mind going downtown anymore.

I will always remember my Angel in the Brown Hat.

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