Returning from Christmas Day Mass, my parents and I stopped at a tyre shop to repair a slow leaking tyre on my car. Understandably, shops like these are considered dirty man’s work. There were four men under a zinc shed with broken down and tattered counters and shelves, some sitting on black stained crooked chairs, having a heated debate which was punctuated with colourful Jamaican expletives.
The ganja (marijuana) spliff in hand energized the discussion, with a few men looking half-dazed, seemingly from a combination of rum and ganja. There were no customers upon our arrival, hence the time for chilling and storytelling among the workers.
As we began disembarking the car, a tall young fellow with dirty black clothing approached courteously. Straightaway, I swiftly blurted out instructions for the service I needed. To my surprise, the young man responded by saying, “Merry Christmas! This week is the best week of the year because it’s my birthday.” Instantly, I became aware of my lack of Christ-like charity on the day my religion celebrated the birth of Jesus.
Disembarking the car, my mother planted herself into the sea of expletives-coloured discussion, and my father stood next to her while I was dealing with the young man. Then I observed that the decibel of the debate and the use of expletives gradually dissipated. I was in awe.
As the young man carried on his service, the guy who unmistakably was most marijuana intoxicated went to the back of a nearby half-burnt-out building, returned with a chair, placed it in front of Dad, and said, “Pops, have a seat, and rest your feet.”
A few minutes later, the lead speaker and storyteller moved toward my parents and apologized for using expletives. As other customers arrived, the parliament discussion stopped, and they busied themselves offering superb customer service.
Without the privilege of participating in a Church service on Christmas Day, the actions of these incongruous men were Christ-like, living the meaning of Christ’s birth in their actions of respect, kindness, humility, and hospitality.
3 thoughts on “Christmas Story”
Even among those doing dirty man work, we can recognize Christ like behaviour. May they be blessed.
Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful message. Other people may not have seen it. This could be the subject of a very deep theological discussion. Life is very interesting. Enjoy the balance of the Christmas season. 🙏🏼❤️
Good morning Fr. Don, on behalf of my husband and I, I am wishing you and your family a blessed and healthy 2023
Wishing your Dad very success on his surgery.
Thank you for all your inspiring blogs that you shared with us.
Changes, is something I have to deal with now in my life. But, you have in no doubt clear that for me.
All God’s blessings to you for the New Year.
May your blogs continue to be an inspiration for you and all God’s people.
Yous in Christ