Christmas 2012: This is the Greatest Gift This Year

A funeral service is rarely a time for celebration, especially when it comes on the Friday before Christmas. Yet last Friday, I found myself in just such a setting as one family member after another paid tribute to the loving memory of my 95-year-old grandmother.

As the procession of speakers ran to a close, the opportunity to share reflections was extended to any and all in attendance. To the surprise of the immediate family, my brother arose and headed to the podium.

His tribute was touching, but his closing was most powerful, “I think if Grandma could tell us all anything as she looks down upon us from Heaven it would be well done, very well done indeed.”

For many who profess great faith, those words carry only marginal significance. Or at least they do until you realize that for those who know him, the question of my brother’s struggle with faith has always been one which elicited our deepest prayers.

That one sentence spoken brought great joy to all in attendance and tears of grace flowed freely down the cheeks of my mother.

Nearly 40 years ago, I wrote and published the "Greatest Crime." Once again on Friday, I was reminded of its value.

During the coming celebration of the Christmas season, I pray that Gods’ grace will allow you to share the love of family and friends with a renewed faith in our ability to believe in our fellow man.

I have already received my Christmas present this season. May the telling of this story further open your hearts to enjoy your gifts today and always in whatever shape or form they may take:

 “THE GREATEST CRIME”         

From the nameless void of time eternal, a voice calls forth to all who seek.
It comes to tell those who listen of the great crimes we all commit.
It speaks of the wrong done by those who know what must be said but are afraid to do so.
It speaks of the greater wrong done by us all of not helping others when they fall.
But no crime is greater than, our failure to believe in our fellow man.