Christmas Stories: Day 5

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Our home in New Orleans, at Christmas, was always a place where family and friends came over, even if only for a few minutes, to visit. We always did a lot of cooking and baking. Not a lot was spent on gifts, and yet it still always felt like too much. Every year I looked for ways to make the season more about the gift we had been given in Christ rather than the gifts others expected to received.

Christmas 2005 was a very different Christmas for us. I keep going back to this year because it was the year that I was broken for Christ and He met me and is still putting the pieces back together in the most remarkable way.

Christmas 2005 was our first Christmas post-Katrina. A church in Indian Hills adopted our family and wanted to make the year special for us. I had no idea what the day would look like. We were in a new place and not one family member or friends would be coming by on Christmas day, not even for a short visit. Money was scarce and there was a deep fear inside of me. I was living in the shadows of loss. We had lost everything in New Orleans to Katrina. Most family members were still displaced. My son had had his first heart mild attack in November of that same year and was treated with angioplasty and a stent.

Some of the church members came over and brought a tree. They helped us decorate the tree and they brought gifts for everyone in the family. They also brought food for our Christmas meal. The kids were very pleased, but I was so saddened for my mom, who was 82 years old at the time. She had been totally uprooted from all that was familiar. I knew the kids would adjust. I knew Kevin would adjust and I was convinced I would be fine, but I was not sure how my mom would fare in all of this. But when the pastor handed my mom a hand knitted scarf and my mom smiled, the shadow of loss was lifted and rainbow of hope prevailed.

That year, the gift of family was the most important gift and everyone knew it. The tree, the gifts, the meal, was a sweet whisper from God; it was just a little lagniappe. To me, it was God saying, home is where I am and I am not confined to a house, or a city.


Today’s story is by Barbara Scorza.

Barbara is the Director of Operations at Fellowship North and lives with her grandkids, Josh, Aurbrey, and KJ, in NLR post-Katrina. Her son Kenderick is in college at Ouachita Baptist.

“Everyday is an adventure at our home. There is never a dull moment. We are in full swing from sunrise to bedtime. I wake each morning with great anticipation and end my days with contemplative reflection. I love to watch people experience new things and I get great joy to see someone get a taste of God’s goodness.”

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