Stories of Christmas: Teen Division, 1st Place
Several stories were submitted this year for the Brainerd Dispatch’s 31st annual Stories of Christmas contest.
A Little Peace
“Let there be peace on Earth…”
The air is filled with Christmas spirit. Everyone, from the stray cats roaming the streets to the shoppers overflowing with gifts, seems to have a skip in their step. But I’m not here to tell you about the joyful town. The feeling of peace in the air. I’m here to tell you of a different peace. A peace that is above all else.
And so it begins with a small house perched on a country hill. Unlike the large homes in town, this one is not decorated with even a wreath upon the front door. But with a look inside you will find a tree, ornaments being hung by a large family. There’s something missing though, a mother. The fever took many that year.
Later that evening the family settles in. In contrast, the youngest girl, no older than 9, tugs on her boots and opens the front door.
She hurries down the steps. Her bare hands no match for the biting chill of the night. She keeps a quick pace, only slowing when she reaches a worn path. A church looms above her. Opening the door she steps into the warm, candlelit sanctuary. There’s a feeling you get in that church. Something I hope she feels, happier than happy, calmer than calm.
Kneeling down in the front pew, she bows her head, closes her eyes.
“God, fill me with peace,” she prays, “And Mum, I hope you’re up there. We’re all missing you this Christmas an -- and I... I…”
Her voice falters, tears streaming down her rosy cheeks.
I wish I could go down, tell her it’s OK. Instead I kneel, where I am, and I too pray to God that He fill her with peace this Christmas.
Suddenly, her shaking shoulders cease, and wiping a tear from her cheek, she allows a smile to spread across her face.
At that moment, I knew. Perhaps there isn’t peace on Earth this Christmas, but there certainly is in that young girl … in my daughter.
Baxter, Age 13