A Christmas Story

She sat all alone on the end of the pew
At the service on Christmas eve,
And out of the crowd there were only a few
Who even bothered to see
That she didn't smile and she didn't sing
And she didn't even pray,
In fact, her sadness didn't mean a thing
To most folks on that day.

Although a goodly crowd was there
To give thanks for a bountiful year,
And to praise a God who had been so fair,
Who had turned a ready ear
When they'd asked for things to be done for them,
Still they didn't seem to see
The lady there, so frail and slim,
Alone with her memory.

She had not missed a single Christmas eve
In this church she called her own,
In forty-two years - it's hard to believe -
It was always like coming home.
But this year she had to come home alone,
For her husband had passed away,
And the thought of it made her let out a soft moan,
Though she was determined to stay.

"The message the Christ brought from above,"
The preacher began to relate,
"Was all about the importance of love,
"Dispelling indifference and hate.
"'Go love one another' was Jesus' command,
"Just as your God has loved you,
"For first you must learn to love your fellow man,
"Then you can love God, too.

"Oh, what good is wealth and all your success,
"And all of the things that you own,
"If you find you're left with no happiness,
"And end your life all alone?
"For we all are just one big family you see,
"In Christ we all are the same,
"There's really no difference between you and me,
"Each shares all the laughter and pain.

"You might think that you are one person, apart,
"Who can do as you like, on your own,
"But we all are connected - here at the heart,
"All of us sing the same song.
"Be free with your wealth, and give of yourself,
"Wherever you happen to go,
"And giving your heart means much more than your wealth,
"It does more good, you know."

All those in the congregation agreed
With all that the preacher had said,
And each one thought of his own future need
As he prayed with his bowed head.
But none of them saw the old lady alone,
On the pew where her husband had prayed,
They were too occupied making all their wants known
So their answers would not be delayed.

But one little girl, just seven years old,
Saw the tears on the old lady's cheek,
And got off her knees, a move quite bold
For one so little and meek,
Crossed over the aisle and slid down the pew
And knelt by the old lady's side,
And since they didn't know what else to do,
The two of them knelt there and cried.

It didn't take long for that pew to fill,
With people with faces so red,
For they knew it was time to pay up their bill,
Recalling what the preacher had said.
A lot of requests intended for God
Never got delivered that day,
For a lot of folks looked at the path they had trod,
And decided to change their way.

They followed the child, the sweet little girl,
Whose young and innocent mind
Could see that the only thing in this world
To strive for was to be kind
To another person who had a need,
Whose heart you could help to mend,
And by so doing plant the seed for your
Own happiness in the end.

It was a message that all of us knew,
Before we began to grow,
A message we could remember, too,
If we would forget to "know"
All of the things we have learned of "success,"
Of happiness, fame and all that,
All of the things that make such a mess
Of our lives, and make them go flat.

Yes, we could recall, like all of those people
Who prayed on that Christmas eve,
And we don't have to get beneath some steeple,
Or in some book believe.
If we open our hearts, and open our eyes,
And look at everyone else,
Before we know it, we'll start to get wise,
And really help ourselves.

There are ways to get everything that we need,
There are ways if only we find them,
There are leaders who'll show us if we will take heed,
There are leaders if we'll get behind them.

There are people who're willing to go anywhere
That somebody else might need them,
They'll march into heaven without a care,

And a little child shall lead them.

And a little child shall lead them.