From the Pastor's Desk
December 22, 2018
My fondest Christmas memory came about in the midst of a violently cold snowstorm in rural Minnesota. The storm had come up quickly and schools were scurrying to get children home for their winter break. Our bus driver had done the best that he could, but we were 9-miles out from town on the one main road and there was no way the driver could deliver the last dozen kids to their homes. The roads were getting too bad and visibility was impossible.
In those days, nobody had cell phones and the quick-thinking driver would have probably been fired today for what he did, but there weren't a lot of options. It would have been cold and scary staying in the bus in the middle of nowhere. The gas tank wouldn't last forever. Parents couldn't leave their homes to come find us, the conditions were too bad. So, the driver stopped, since he couldn't really keep driving anyway, and walked all of us through the cold blustering storm to a nearby abandoned farm house. Fortunately, the owner had only recently moved away and the bus driver was able to get the heater fired up and make the small house warm and cozy.
Some of the kids had decks of cards and we settled in, not knowing how long we would be in this place. Minnesota blizzards can last for days sometimes. Unfortunately, there was no food in the house and the phone line wasn't working.
The driver knew he had to get word to parents somehow to let them know where we all were. So, eventually, he put the older teens in charge and made his way back to the bus to try and get to the nearest phone back toward town.
Being a child, warm indoors and playing cards with my siblings and friends, I was fairly content with the big adventure. However, none of us knew how long this would continue nor how long we'd remain content.
After a while, there came a knock at the door. Outside was a man covered in snow. Small icicles hung from his nostrils and he was carrying a big pack over his shoulder, a snow-covered pillowcase filled with food. He was my dad and the best looking Santa ever. He had walked over a mile in white-out conditions to get to us, after the driver called him, loaded up with whatever food was in our freezer or on our shelves back home. Together we feasted on hot dogs, beans and half-frozen apple pie and it was the best Christmas meal ever.
I wish everyone could have grown up with a dad as loving, jolly and brave as mine. He truly was the best Christmas gift a boy or girl could have. I know many people grow up without such a dad. Christmas is a time when I treasure his memory and trust we all have a divine Dad offering us love, laughter and protection. My heart is full of gratitude for the father I received and for blessings too numerous to be counted. May your heart feel the same.
About Tehachapi Community Church, UCC:
No matter who you are, no matter where you are on life's journey, you're welcome here!
The Tehachapi Community Church, UCC is an open and welcoming community of faith that believes that each person, created in the image of God, holds a piece of the truth. Therefore we respect each person's unique spiritual journey. We invite you to experience the difference that religious freedom in a caring community can make in that journey.
We are located at 100 East E St., in Tehachapi. Worship and Sunday School are at 10:30 a.m. on Sundays. Please join us for coffee and fellowship at our Friendship Hall after worship (approximately 11:30 a.m.).
All are welcome.