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Every year, as the Christmas season rolls around again, I feel impelled to dig into my archives, to see what might deserve saying a second time.
This column goes back to 2005.
I was driving from Kamloops back to Kelowna, normally less than a two-hour drive. A storm had coated the highway with ice. It took me over an hour just to get to the turnoff that led south towards Kelowna.
Just before the turnoff, the road tilted left. I could feel my car slipping sideways on the ice as I crept around yet another accident. Even the cop directing traffic couldn’t keep his feet under him.
Then, as I was about to accelerate gently ahead, I heard a tap at my passenger window. A pale, waiflike face peered in at me, bundled in a woolen scarf.
“Could you give me a ride?” she asked. “It’s real cold out here.”
I don’t usually pick up hitchhikers, but these seemed to be exceptional circumstances. “Hop in,” I said.
Categories: Soft Edges
Tags: Mary, hitchhiker, Magnificat
In those days a decree went out from the Emperors in Washington and Damascus that all the world should be embroiled in civil wars, so that their spheres of influence might be extended. And many were driven from their own towns by bombs and drones and tanks.
A man named Joseph fled from his shattered ruins of his home and business in Syria across the harsh deserts to a refugee camp, where he knew no one. He went with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were in the camp, on their way to anywhere else, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son shortly before dawn, while others slept, in a tent provided by an international aid agency. She wrapped him in her own cloak to keep him warm through the bitter cold of a desert night, and she laid him on the sand, because they had nothing else to put him in.
Tags: Joseph, Mary, baby, Nativity, birth