Christmas in the Shadows

(This message was originally on the InScribe Christian Writer’s Fellowship Blog, Dec. 22, 2021)

This post is an effort to give a voice to those unwelcome within the greater scheme of life. Even at a holy time, there are those who live in the shadows.

I am a Leper

I am one of the least of these. No status other than one of no use. I live among shadows. I am not one to be envied, but neither am I to be feared. I am no more a sinner than anyone else.

I wander around the streets at night seeking food from the garbage of pretty people. I sleep often during the day under a bridge or other place of shade. Hopeless, homeless, and heaven less.

“Look at the dirty leper!” “We don’t want an unclean thing around us!” These are words people use to disembowel me as a person. When the Christ child is born. I will matter, I will be seen. I will no longer be alone.

A Magnificent Star

I heard there were important people who follow a star, a magnificent star, like a pillar in the sky, bright and unmistakable in its celestial presence. I looked for many nights, then one cloudless evening I saw it. Yes, like a gigantic candle illuminating my path. I felt so humbled to witness this God-sent object in the sky. By faith, as if prodded by the Almighty, I followed the star.

I Saw Him

I saw Mary and Joseph as they completed their journey. They entered Bethlehem. My faith walk worked. I am pretty sure they didn’t see me. I would never embarrass them by introducing myself. I can’t compete with shepherds and wise men or angels.

From the shadows, I also saw Him. A baby held in the arms of the blessed Virgin. This is the Baby born to be The King. I fell to my knees and, from a feeling deep within me, I cried. He has come!

From the shadows,

I now dance and sing,

For in God’s mercy,

I see The King.

Now I see Him. He is the only One who loved me before the foundation of the world. One day, when I walk out from the shadows and not as afraid of people, I hope He touches me. His touch of love is all I need.

Everyone else may run from me. I am more than familiar with people who throw stones. They laugh when their stones break my skin. Hugs from friends are foreign to me. Darkness is my only embrace.

I know He will not chase me away. He came for the unlovely, of whom I am one.

His touch is all I need,

then I will be freed.

Only this,

The Saviour’s kiss.

A Personal Reflection

My words wept as I wrote this post. In reflecting on this special time of year, my thoughts drove me to the condition of people today. I hesitate even now to write the concluding part of my last message of 2021.

The life of a person shunned by other people is lonely. Their lives result from bigotry, fear, or some other trait of darkened hearts. They may live in the shadows of life hidden from “pretty people,” those accepted by society.

My heart is heavy in the knowledge Canada has created its own “lepers.” A class of Canadian citizens shunned even by the politicians they elected and other loud voices. This time in our collective history, all too prone to a trail of negative narratives, needs The King.

Even so come, Lord Jesus!

6 thoughts on “Christmas in the Shadows

    1. Hello there, Manitobamom! Cool name, by the way. Thank you for taking the time to be an encouragement. You are right about the sadness of divisions people have bought into. Christmas blessings to you and your family. Please stay safe and health. God bless you!

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Hi, Alan. Found you here through Lisa’s blog.

    I appreciate your note at the end about the modern-day lepers in Canada. So many people could fit that description, really; although I think I know who you mean, and in that case, I’m one of them. It’s lonely. It’s been hurtful at times. But I try to remember that people are just scared.

    Fear does crazy things to how we treat one another.

    And I can’t pretend to be innocent, either. How many people have I avoided or shunned, even subconsciously, over my lifetime? I need Jesus to open my eyes and soften my heart so I can treat everyone I meet with equal respect and kindness.


    1. Hello Sara! Thank you for your comments. Yes, Lisa is a good writer and I am following her Psalm prayer series. My Christmas post originally my Dec. post for a Christian writers organization. I post there once a month.

      I write a lot about grief related matters. As a retired healthcare chaplain this is a natural for me. Yes, I’m sure other people read between the lines to guess the, “lepers,” to whom I refer. You might have guessed my heart is heavy about the direction many Canadians have chosen to follow. Even more shameful are the number of politicians who encourage the so-called “anti-vaxxer” narrative. On the other hand, not everyone appreciates my perspective and I’m fine with this.

      I have a couple of major writing projects on the go for this New Year, but I also hope I can post more often on my Scarred Joy blog. In light of what the pandemic has done to our world and country I believe it is time to focus on how we might heal together. I am sad if people hurt you during this time.

      Blessings to you Sara. I sincerely appreciate you taking time read and comment on my message. I pray our paths may cross again. In the meantime, please take care of yourself.


      Liked by 1 person

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