This Christmas Gift
- December 20, 2022
- Guest Writer
It was the deepest silence I’ve ever experienced as I parked a few feet from my father’s grave. The calmness felt sacrosanct.The silence invited me in, and I allowed myself to be surrounded by it. I listened intently to the stillness. Sometimes God speaks most powerfully in silence… “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10 (NIV)
The deep peace I feel is always intriguing to me each time I pass by my dad’s “final resting place”- as they say. I mean, I’m the emotional guy that might cry at a goofy Hallmark movie, or fall apart emotionally while listening to a favorite Christmas song. “Let There Be Light”, “One Christmas Eve”, “O Holy Night”, and “Silent Night” come to mind. I’m particularly partial to “Silent Night” because it’s my mother’s favorite Christmas carol.
So why oh why don’t I cry at my beloved father’s graveside? Because he’s alive! Oh, his outer shell, his “cocoon” if you will, is safely secured beneath six feet of sod, but his spirit is with God. Don’t misunderstand. I miss my dad’s stoic strength and his uncanny counsel. In fact, I miss him right this minute, as I’m in the midst of making a pivotal business decision.
But I think I’ve finally figured out why I don’t cry when driving by Crestview Cemetery where my dad’s physical body lies. At that place where emotions and logic intersect, logic wins, and it goes like this: Long ago, the ultimate Christmas Gift descended to this planet. Jesus Christ was sent from above to offer everlasting life to sinners. So logic dictates that since Gray Salmons accepted this Gift as a kid, his spirit is now in Heaven. Of course, there’s a sense of sadness in the separation- the sad gap between the Now and the Not Yet. But because Christ also saved my life when I was nine, in God’s perfect time. I’ll rendezvous with Dad on that celestial shore where “there is fullness of joy!” Discover other aspects of Heaven in Psalm 16:11.
As I drove away from my father’s grave that day, I celebrated, and prayed a grateful prayer to our Creator. And this thought filled my mind. “Because of Christmas and the empty tomb of Easter, this is not the end, my friend. Death is just a beginning.”
“Where, O death, is thy victory? Where, O death, is thy sting?” 1 Corinthians 15:55 (NIV)
Guest Post Provided by Gary Salmons