We all have a Christmas to remember. Why was it the best Christmas? Is it because we cherish the memory of it and it reminds us of a joyful time in our life? (I believe) we do something that allows us to remember that Christmas.
I also have a Christmas like that. On any given day I will do something to remind me of it. I have been living every Christmas Day since then.
At 18, I was dating this beautiful young woman. After six months of dating, she had to move out of state. A month afterward, she told me she might be pregnant. I told her I would love that child with every ounce of love in my heart. That Christmas, the Christmas of ‘81, I was out of work and had no cash. I called her Christmas night and said, “Merry Christmas sweetheart. I love you forever.” She said that was all she wanted for Christmas.
At that moment, something happened. The door to my heart was opened for the first time since I was a little boy. I looked inside and I felt disgraced. There I was, a self-centered man with lust in his heart and all of his sins. Also at that moment, God spoke and my heart became white as snow again. I was being cleansed. Love entered my heart that day and I was so grateful to God for that.
The following February, her father broke off our relationship. (He) told me that she wanted nothing to do with me. That did not stop me from loving her.
On Sept. 14, 1982, I was in a very serious accident. When I came to two weeks later the doctors told me I was not to be here and that I needed to thank someone. (I understood then that) God was not done with me yet.
A couple of months later I was attending church and the pastor read 1st Corinthians 13. My eyes opened up for the first time. There was this light in me like a burning flame. I took hold of those 13 verses and asked God to teach me of this love. His love. I took my first steps that day with the fire of the Holy Spirit in my heart.
I learned early it would take some time to learn how I must love as God loved me. Love must be sincere. You need to learn how to put joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control in your walk. The key is faithfulness — for by faith the fruits you have been given will be planted in good soil.
I had to learn that I had to walk in a man’s shoes to know Him and to learn how to serve Him. So I went homeless to live among the forgotten. I ate at their table and worked by their side. I learned to love them for who they are. I understood them and asked how I could help them. So many different shoes to fill. One man accepted Christ one night. That was a victory for God.
The definition for compassion is to have pity. The true definition of compassion is to love showing mercy as God did on the Cross.
God taught me to love all mankind and to do it with an unconditional heart. Here are the A, B, C, D and Es:
I Accept you as you are!
I Believe in you!
I Care for you!
I Deserve (this chance to wish) for you all the best!
I Erase all and forgive all of my sins and your sins!
This is what I practice every day when I meet someone new. Your heart always has to remain open. The door can never close after it has been opened. We are created in the image of God Who loves us all. We must love Him with a pure heart. Seek His heart continuously and He will reveal himself to you. He will give you the treasure every man seeks. The fruit of the Spirit is in you.
Can you forgive as God forgives? Letting go as the East is from the West? Yes, we can do it! Remember that love must be sincere. Love is an action verb. Love has only two actions — to give and to forgive, John 3:16. This is all that love does. Anything more could be lust. It is much easier to love and much harder to forgive. To forgive someone you must surrender or let go of vengeance. Forgive someone and let the love of God replace the need to avenge. This is real love.
The joy of all this was gaining the knowledge, the wisdom and the understanding I needed to learn. What I have already learned is that we make relationships hard. We unknowingly put conditions on each other. We do not need to be louder to be heard. We need to fully listen without reservation. Listen with your heart for it will train the mind what to say. You will have all you need in that moment. Just trust!
In 28 years I have learned so much and with so much more to learn. I have felt hopeless many times and also faithless more than any other. But faith is the evidence of things hoped for while fear is the evidence of things dreaded.
Pray often, ask for forgiveness often and most of all lift your voice in praising his name over and over again. These are the keys for growth.
Now these three remain — faith, hope and love. The greatest of these is love. I interpret these three as this: Jesus Christ is our faith, the Holy Spirit is our hope and God is love. I need to say no more. I run the race to finish it. I know not what place I come across the line because there were others before and there will be others behind me.
May your life be in richness of His blessing every day. May you be blessed today and every day.
I would like to dedicate this to my daughter who is now 28. I have never met her, but it was on Christmas Day that she was given to me. I give her my heart and all that is written on it.
— Paul Eugene Nessmith
(A Note From The Author: “If this piece can get to the one person who is searching for an answer, then it has done its purpose ... the eternal love in my heart has spoken. There will be a time for praise in my house. We will celebrate this to the glory, honor and praise of our Father).