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Previous Message From Virtual Church

Christmas Gift Of Love

Margaret started her Christmas Eve nursing shift like always. Happenings in the emergency room at Central General Hospital slowed down a bit on Christmas Eve but people still streamed in no matter what time of day or what season it might be. Margaret always volunteered to take the Christmas Eve shift to give the other nurses a chance to be home with family. Margaret had no family. Her parents had both died and she had no siblings. She wanted to have children but at thirty-six and still unmarried, it did not appear she would ever have a son or daughter. She considered adoption but the process was straining, especially so for her as a single parent. Single parent adoptions were not uncommon these days. However, something unexplainable always seemed to stop Margaret from going through with the adoption process.

This Christmas Eve was intensely busy in the ER. Three shootings, four domestic batteries, two abused children, two car accidents, and two burn victims kept the ER in turmoil. At 3:45 PM, a woman was brought in by ambulance. The woman was critically ill with a high fever and was in and out of consciousness. The ambulance crew brought the woman's newborn child with her to the emergency room because the crew did not know what else to do with the newborn. Child Protective Services was usually called but this time the ambulance crew brought the child too. As the woman was wheeled into the ER on a gurney, one of the ambulance crew handed the newborn to Margaret. At 4:10 PM the woman was pronounced dead, cause unknown. No one knew the woman's name. Someone covered her body with a sheet and called the morgue. At 4:23 PM the morgue attendant came to pick up the woman's body but for reasons unknown her body had disappeared. Not only had her body disappeared, the ER area where the ER staff had tried to revive the woman appeared to have been untouched. All the medical equipment was back in place. The exam table was untouched. Nothing had been moved or taken from its standard position.

Sam Roberts, Director of ER Services got a call at 4:45 PM from the ER head saying a situation needed his attention. The police were called in immediately. No trace of the woman could be found. Sam Roberts appeared shortly thereafter in the ER. All entrances to the hospital were sealed off and security alerted. Head of security for the hospital, Mack Ronaldson, was called in. Mack Ronaldson started a review of all the security tapes.

At 6:00 PM, Sam Roberts met with Mack Ronaldson about the woman's disappearance. All this time, the baby, a baby girl, was being held and taken care of by Margaret. Mack said to Sam, "Sam, we have a situation here we have never had before. I have reviewed every video tape from every entrance and every hallway. I have no video record of any woman being brought in to the emergency room at the time period this incident was supposed to have taken place. I checked every camera, every area of the emergency room, every doorway, for every minute from 3:00 PM up until 5:00 PM. No woman matching this woman's description came in or left, walking, on a stretcher, on a gurney, in a wheel chair, or by any other means. Not only that, I called the ambulance service and they have no record of picking up and delivering a woman in critically ill condition with a baby to our hospital. I have witnesses here saying the woman was brought in by ambulance. The crew that brought the woman in is known by first and last name. None of those ambulance people were even on duty today. I have seen a lot of weird stuff in my time but this is the weirdest of all. We do not know who the woman was. We do not know where she came from. She was brought to the hospital today by an ambulance crew that was not working today because the ambulance crew members were at home at the time. The ambulance office has no record of a run being made where anyone was brought in today with or without a baby where a woman was critically ill. However, we have Margaret holding a baby. Sam, you wanna help me out and tell me what is going on?" Sam Roberts shook his head and said, "No, I do not know. We see it all here in the ER but we have never seen anything like this. I can't call the news media because no one would believe the story. We have no video record of a woman and a baby or even a video record of just a baby being brought in. The police came and left with nothing in hand. When the police find out there is no video record they have no crime or case to investigate. I don't know. I tell you, I don't know. There is no way someone could have come in or left or taken a body out or just disappeared without leaving a video record. The only thing we don't video here are interiors of the rest room areas. OK, Mack, I will get back to you on this."

Sam Roberts then began to talk to every staff member in the ER about the incident. The longer time went on, the hazier everyone's memory seemed to get. Even staff members who worked on the woman were starting to forget key details of the incident. So much so, some of the staff were not even sure the incident took place.

Within a few minutes Sam Roberts called Margaret into his office. Margaret was carrying the baby. Sam and Margaret were close Christian friends. They worshipped at the same church, had sat in the pew together every Sunday, and had known each other for years. Sam said, "Margaret, are you aware of the circumstances surrounding the appearance and disappearance of this baby's mother?" Margaret replied, "Well, I have been hearing rumors." Sam said, "Well, let me recount this for you. We have no video record anyone brought that baby into the hospital. We have no ambulance crew who can testify they brought that baby or the baby's mother here. The mother appeared and disappeared but we have no video record of anyone appearing or disappearing. We have no idea who the woman was who was brought in, if anyone was indeed brought in. Now we have an ER staff who cannot remember important points about the woman being brought in, how or even if they worked on the women who died if there was a woman who died, or even seeing the baby's mother. In other words, we have ER staff people who now seem to have big lapses in memory about this matter. The police started to take a report pending our video record but we have no video record and we no ambulance crew who brought the woman and the baby in so the police have no case to investigate. But you have a baby. We don't even have a record of your holding that baby on any video record. You know, Margaret, God works in strange ways, His wonders to perform. Those words are from a poem not from the Bible but the words are still true. I can't go to the news media on this story because no one would believe it. I have nothing to tell the police. We've known each other for a long time. Margaret, I am going to do something I have never done before and I will never do again. What I am going to do is make two people very happy for Christmas. Margaret, if you are willing, I am going to sign a birth certificate for that child which is in my power to do and I am going to give you the birth certificate. Both of us being single, we have both felt very attracted to each other but have never gone out because we did not want to get romantically involved with anyone with whom we worked. The truth is, we have been in love with each other for several years but we did not want to say it. I know this is a lot to handle at one time but can you go with me to the big box Wally Store down the street, buy up every baby supply possible, and then go out with me to the Chinese restaurant across the street? I will take you home, we will spend Christmas Day together, and then tomorrow evening I will bring you back to the hospital to pick up your car."

Margaret sat there like a mannequin. She was frozen in place and time from what was happening to her at the moment. The little baby moved her tiny fingers and brought Margaret back to an awareness of things present. Margaret suddenly smiled and said, "Uh, well, OK. Wow! I would like a baby. I hadn't really planned on a baby today, but, well, OK. I really don't know what else to say except OK."

Luke 2:1-52 (NIV) In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. [2] (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria .) [3] And everyone went to his own town to register. [4] So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David , because he belonged to the house and line of David. [5] He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. [6] While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, [7] and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. [8] And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. [9] An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. [10] But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. [11] Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. [12] This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." [13] Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, [14] "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." [15] When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." [16] So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. [17] When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, [18] and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. [19] But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. [20] The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. [21] On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived. [22] When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord [23] (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, "Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord"), [24] and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: "a pair of doves or two young pigeons." [25] Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel , and the Holy Spirit was upon him. [26] It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Christ. [27] Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, [28] Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: [29] "Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. [30] For my eyes have seen your salvation, [31] which you have prepared in the sight of all people, [32] a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel ." [33] The child's father and mother marveled at what was said about him. [34] Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: "This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel , and to be a sign that will be spoken against, [35] so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too." [36] There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, [37] and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. [38] Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem. [39] When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth . [40] And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him. [41] Every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. [42] When he was twelve years old, they went up to the Feast, according to the custom. [43] After the Feast was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem , but they were unaware of it. [44] Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. [45] When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. [46] After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. [47] Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. [48] When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, "Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you." [49] "Why were you searching for me?" he asked. "Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?" [50] But they did not understand what he was saying to them. [51] Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. [52] And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

A facetious story giving wisdom

This story first appeared in December, 2005, in the Virtual Church web site at http://www.findthepower.com

 

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Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked (RSV) are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Copyright © 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Shepherd's Care Ministries author and webmaster, Rev. Patrick Kelly, is affiliated through ministerial ordination with Church of God Ministries, Anderson IN 46018