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A Christmas Story From This Morning A Christmas Story From This Morning

A Christmas Story From This Morning

I’ve never been any good at stuffing Christmas stockings. This morning, I went to the salvage store to buy some stocking stuffers for Karen thinking, “At least when I buy the wrong thing, it won’t cost too much.” I remembered that the last time I’d been in there, Chuck, the shop keep…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

A Christmas Story From This Morning

I’ve never been any good at stuffing Christmas stockings. This morning, I went to the salvage store to buy some stocking stuffers for Karen thinking, “At least when I buy the wrong thing, it won’t cost too much.”
I remembered that the last time I’d been in there, Chuck, the shop keeper, told me the story of his dad, who had been a famous traveling evangelist. Chuck is about my age. He had struggled as I had with the job of following in his father’s footsteps.
His dad was spiritually minded and Chuck was practical. His dad had a gift with words and Chuck’s gift was music.
But it occurred to me as poetic that they were both in the salvage business. Redeeming people’s junk.
So I had written a little poem in the “Notes” section of my phone. “Would it be OK if I shared it with you?” I asked him.
“Sure,” he responded.
I opened the file and read this to him.
Charles Johnson lives
He’s still alive
though his gravestone tells another story.
He lived to find and redeem discarded lives.
How many found their story
intertwined with his?
His tent held 8000,
but couldn’t contain his story.
I could see it
in the eyes of his son, Chuck,
who tends the salvage goods store.
Chuck ran headlong away.
But he has followed his father.
Redemption runs in the blood.
I looked up and Chuck had turned his back to me and was wiping his eyes.
He searched for words. “Would you send that poem to me?” He asked.
“Sure thing, Chuck.”
Back home, I texted it to him and added this: “Jesus is a redeemer, and so are you. I know your dad would be very proud.”
And so it is with God our father. He’s going to take your 2020 and redeem it, just like Chuck does the stuff in his store. Jesus came across time, born in a barn, in a world that wanted to kill him. And he did it for you.
Merry Christmas

Comments (8)

  • Great poem.

    God is a redeemer! Redemption is possible, no matter how impossible we believe the situation to be. It is what I stand on in regards to my marriage….that no matter what He will redeem Erin and I and our story in the end, even if we still have more darkness to walk through first. One thing I know is I have to follow Him and stand for our marriage no matter what as He has asked me to do. And so, your poem is a great reminder that He is a Redeemer, always and forever.

    Thank you.

  • Great reminder… as I sit alone, in an empty store on this… a rainy day before Christmas.

    I’m exactly where I’m to be, doing exactly what I was created to do.

  • I’m not crying. No, definitely not.
    *sniff*
    Thank you. The redemption of Christmas is amazing. His overcoming for us, for me, even moreso.
    Merry Christmas, Seth!

  • Great post, Seth. Nothing is wasted in God’s kingdom. “Behold, I am making all things new!”
    I love it.

  • I love that you could show Chuck how his life actually paralleled his dad, but in a very different way. I hope the words validated that you, too, made your own dads (both earthly & heavenly) proud with what you’ve done too. You have touched lives profoundly worldwide!

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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