Down From His Glory
enry Carter was working feverishly trying to prepare something fresh for his Christmas sermon when he was disturbed by a knock on his study door. It was the dorm mother of the church’s home for disturbed children. There was a crisis upstairs with one of the boys. Most of the boys go home for Christmas and only a few were left behind and were feeling very much abandoned and unloved.
Henry reluctantly followed the dorm mother up the stairs to the small dormitory chafing inwardly at yet another interruption. This time it was Tommy. He had crawled under his bed and refused to come out. The woman pointed to one of the beds. Not even a toe showed so Henry addressed the cowboys and bucking broncos on the bedspread. He told them of the beautifully decorated Christmas tree with all the presents in the church next door … and how there was a special present for Tommy.
Tommy was not impressed and continued to “play dead.”
Henry’s frustration increased as he knelt down on all fours and lifted the bedspread. As he peered under the bed his eyes met two enormous blue eyes—expressing the fear and pain Tommy was experiencing. Henry could have easily pulled little eight-year-old-looking-like-a-five-year-old child from under the bed, but he knew that this wouldn’t help. It was trust, not coercion, that Tommy needed—plus he needed to make the decision to come out by himself. So Henry tried as best he could to get Tommy excited about the special Christmas supper to be offered after the service, the wonderful presents, and the stocking filled with magnificent Christmas gifts with Tommy’s name on it.
All to no avail.
Not being able to think of anything
else to say Henry just laid there
in silence beside Tommy.
So…what else could Henry do? He got down on his stomach and wriggled himself under the bed to lay with his cheek pressed into the floor beside Tommy. Not a word he said seemed to have any effect. Not being able to think of anything else to say Henry just laid there in silence beside Tommy. It seemed like such a long time but as Henry patiently waited, in time a small, cold hand crept into his.
After a while Henry said, “You know, Tommy, it’s pretty uncomfortable under here. Let’s you and me go where we can stand up.”
Ever so slowly they did.
Henry had no more worries about finding a Christmas message.1
Continued on Page Two