When Fingers Cloaked in Grime Become a Christmas Story

A Christmas Story

The chipped crimson nail polish hinted of the life once lived with dignity and pride. Now, the graceful fingers were cloaked in grime from the streets.

Mary was her name.

Still is.

homeless woman
photo credits: pixabay/leroys

But the Mary of long ago had succumbed to the Mary who no longer recognized her disheveled reflection in the window of the corner market. She walked hunched over, not daring to make eye contact with the world around her. The world had put her in this dark place – this place of hopelessness, this place of loneliness, emptiness, and humiliation.

And now she wished only to survive the day.

A young woman encumbered with Christmas packages hurried across the street to beat the coming traffic. In her rush, she bumped into Mary, sending the forgotten woman careening against a brick wall. Christmas packages scattered across the sidewalk.

“Oh! I’m so sorry. Please let me help you get up.”

Unaccustomed to kindness, Mary lowered her head and stared at her crumpled legs.

“Please,” the woman persisted. “Let me help you.”

Mary dared to look into the young woman’s dark brown eyes. Quite by surprise, Mary caught a glimpse of her former self – young, confident, full of ambition and kindness … When had everything changed? How did I get to this place?

As the young woman leaned over to assist Mary, her gold filigree cross dangled around her neck and reflected the sunlight, casting a tiny glow onto Mary’s face. Mary was taken aback. The cross had once meant so much to her and now – NOW – she had wandered far from God’s grace. This forgotten woman believed she was no longer worthy of God’s love.

A tear escaped and trickled down her cheek. Emotion had become foreign to Mary. Could she dare to feel her pain again? Could she accept kindness from this stranger and allow God to love her?



Divine intervention swirled around her all at once. This tidal wave of love began breaking down the cold, hard walls of Mary’s heart.

hands of JesusThe young woman pulled a tissue from her pocket and dabbed gently at the tears on Mary’s cheek. She spoke softly, soothing the wounded spirit before her. Mary intuitively knew that it was the Lord who was comforting her, accepting her, pouring His restoration into her broken life.

Like the young woman, we are to be His hands, His feet, and His voice. We must allow God’s love to flow freely through our lives into the lives of others.

A simple hug.

A kind word.

Sharing the amazing grace of our Savior born on Christmas day.


A Tweetable to Encourage Others

Could she dare to feel her pain again? A CHRISTMAS STORY on @inspireafire. (click to tweet)


Nan Jones

Nan Jones is an author/speaker who uses the words of her heart to assist fellow Christians in discovering the Presence of God in their darkest hour. She has been published in several anthologies as well as the online inspirational sites Christian Devotions, and Inspire a Fire where she is a monthly contributor. She is also a monthly contributor to PW Connections, a blog and forum to encourage pastors' wives. Nan has had the honor of being featured as a guest blogger on several sites. She is thrilled to announce her debut book, The Perils of a Pastor's Wife released June 30, 2015 by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. This memoir was a 2016 Selah finalist. When Nan isn't writing, she enjoys leading prayer retreats, bible studies or sharing God’s love as keynote speaker for special events. She is becoming known by her brand: "Even so, I walk in the Presence of the Lord" as she teaches her audience to go beyond the veil to find God's Presence. You may visit Nan at her website: www.NanJones.com. Nan has also created a facebook community page, Seeing Beyond The Veil, to provide a place for folks to go and get away from the chaos for a few moments and focus on Jesus through scripture, worship, testimony, and inspirational quotes. For personal communication you may email Nan at nan@nanjones.com The Perils of a Pastor's Wife is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and LPC Bookstore

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