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There’s One Very Short Line

November 27, 2011
Mike Myer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

As I turned away from a line of "Black Friday" shoppers that appeared to be about a third of a mile long (really), three other fellows were leaving, too. Like me, they had decided there was no hope of getting in on the "doorbuster" special prices.

"You know," the older of the three remarked to me, "the line to shake Jesus' hand wasn't this long."

He had that right, in a manner of speaking. He also was thinking of something I wasn't considering at the time. To be honest, Christian thoughts were the furthest thing from my mind at the time.

Funny thing about the Christmas season: The lines to buy big-ticket items for ourselves and our families are very, very long.

But lines aren't long at all in front of the Salvation Army kettles, the tables where toys are being collected for needy children and the charities where donations for food, clothing and other necessities for the less fortunate are being accepted.

Which line would Jesus be in, I wonder?

It's easy to decide we just don't have five minutes to go out of our way to make a charitable donation at Christmas time. We can walk past someone asking for help without giving it a second thought. We probably wouldn't see the irony if, on some of the collection tables, the word "Samaritan" was visible.

We're too busy. And the stuff we think we have to have for ourselves, our friends and our families is so expensive. May need that dollar bill; better not drop it in the red kettle.

Here's what we really can't afford: the thought, on Christmas morning, that there's a child somewhere in the Ohio Valley - perhaps just down the street from us - whose parents had to tell him Santa Claus didn't make it the previous night.

And here's the best gift we can receive ourselves: the knowledge that because of us there's a child giggling with delight as she tears open the wrapping paper to reveal that special present she dared not dream of finding under the Christmas tree. Trust me. If you've had that vision on Christmas morning, you know how wonderful it is. If you haven't, try it.

It's the Christmas season, friends. Let's not forget what that means.

Wouldn't it be nice if, as I was reminded, the line to shake Jesus' hand - so to speak - was a very long one this year?

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