The last gifts have been wrapped and put under the tree. My son and my wife have both gone to bed, and I sit here early on this Christmas morning and ponder what it is I truly want this year.
For most of the run up to this Christmas I have been dreading the day and its arrival. Now that it is here, however, I am at last ready for it. I am ready for the anticipation and the joy in my son's face when he opens a package to find something he asked for as well as the disappointment he will no doubt express when he doesn't get everything he asked for.
There will probably be a few packages under the tree with my name on them, but I have already received the best Christmas gifts I have ever been given - an opportunity for redemption, a chance to redeem my life and live it as it always should have been lived. Not in fear or guilt but in love and joy.
What made that gift possible was a possibly even greater gift - the gift of one person to another. One person who could easily have treated me with resentment and even hatred but instead showed kindness and compassion. She gave of herself and of her self. In the process, she pointed the way to my self and helped to set me on the road to wholeness.
Heidi, mere words of thanks do not seem adequate. You rose above your own cares to offer me encouragement and friendship. That gift is beyond measure. I truly believe you were sent by God to help me find my way out of the wilderness. For that, I will always be grateful.
My wish for everyone this Christmas and in the new year to come is that each of you will find such a friend. They are hard to come by, but when you do find such a friend you are truly rich beyond compare. This Christmas, I count myself amongst the richest men on Earth. I have a family that loves me and a friend who encourages me and allows me to be more than I have ever been. I am truly blessed.