Sunday, December 06, 2009

The Silent Side of Christmas

This Christmas Eve, many thousands of workers will stay up all night manning police, hospitals, chemical plants, security, fire stations and EMS across the Texas Gulf Coast. They are supporting the American way of life. Unfortunately, this is every holiday season for them. My hat is off.

While we enjoy opening presents, or a football game and drinks with our friends and family, a single Mom with tired feet is working a checkout stand, as Wal-Mart accommodates last minute shoppers, wishing for once she could be home with her kids. A city utility employee is shutting off a leaking water or sewer line on a wet dark road. His family wishes this didn't happen every Christmas, but it does. I am grateful.

Somewhere a tow truck driver is changing a flat tire in the bitter cold and a taxi is carrying a passenger to a destination so they can be with their family. The tow-truck driver doesn't make it home before they are called to another emergency and the taxi rolls on to find another passenger. Let me shake your hand.

In this city of thousands, there will sit many who are alone and feel forgotten. They heat up their TV dinner and wish it were all over. Christmas to them is a reminder of lost loved ones. Let me say a prayer of comfort for you.

At Minot AFB in barren North Dakota a 19-year old Airman spends her first Christmas away from home as she works the lone-shift position in the weather station - short straw on the rank scale. In South Korea, the tallest man in the unit, a 6'-5" "Dirty Bay" hometown soldier hunkers down against the cold as he pulls night guard duty beside his launcher. In Afghanistan more American freedom-loving men and women look out across the frigid and desolate wasteland and silently offer up a prayer for peace on earth. They do not ask for pity.

Let's remember all our troops both home and abroad. I salute you.

All these people sacrifice time away from their families to earn a living or keep us safe while we eat delicious meals, open presents, mix with our families and finally drift off to sleep.

Security guards Carroll Messer and Eddie Thurmond stand vigilance at one of the many Chemical Plants on the Texas Gulf Coast, like they do every holiday season.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Keep them all in our hearts and prayers and say "thank you" "we appreciate you" today for than yesterday.

Anonymous said...

Nicely done, BB! SP

Natalie said...

Well said, Bert! And a BIG Thank-you from me as well to all those whose jobs require them to be away from family.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Bert! I hope you and yours have a very Merry Christmas! DB

Anonymous said...

Very thoughtful. CP

Anonymous said...

For a job well done...I say "Thank You"! I appreciate all of these "silent servants"!

Anonymous said...

And if you are one of them this Christmas, thank you too. I know this will be a tough one for you and your wife.

This morning was 7 years that I lost my Mother. I miss her so terribly. Last night I was thinking, I don’t know what we did on our last night together. We didn’t know it was the last night. In the morning, I found her dead at the side of her bed. One thing I do know, we always had a hug and said “I love you” before we went to bed. I do the same every time I talk with the last of my family, my son. It’s shrunk to just the two of us now. I know I will see them all again and that gives me great comfort. I pray you have the same faith and comfort in your life and I know that God’s Grace is sufficient for your son who is terribly missed everyday, not just the holidays. May God give you both comfort and peace. You are in my prayers often. These are words from my heart and I hope they give no offense. Hugs, Ev

Anonymous said...

Well said. Ting

Anonymous said...

Good stuff, Bert. JL

Danny Bezet said...

Bert,

Well said. 19 years ago my wife and I left home and family in South Louisiana to come to Baytown to minister to just such people as you mentioned. We reach out to and pray for them and our life has been touched by many of them.

I will meet others that are hurting and alone ( little children that don't know what it is to have a real Christmas family and adults that have has their lives ravished by sin and heartache) and each of them will motivate us to keep on keepimg on sacrificing and trying to make a difference.

What a good title for your article; I would like to use it for a sermon.

Danny Bezet

Anonymous said...

That was very good, Bert! BT

Anonymous said...

"Bert-...you made me cry! I think often of Nick and his sacrifice and say a prayer for you and Sandra and family!" LS

Anonymous said...

This touched me deeply. I will be sure and greet others with a smile whether I feel like it or not in hopes this show of kindness will help them make it through this stressful time a lot easier. BL

Anonymous said...

Well done, my friend. JF

Anonymous said...

Great article, Bert! Deev

Anonymous said...

Yes it was Bert. I hope you have a good Christmas this year and I hope you won't have to work. Sam

Anonymous said...

BB, you always have a knack for bringing us around to the things that really matter. Good stuff. Love you guys and praying for you.

Buddy C.

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