High Plains Hearts

High Plains Hearts by Janet Spaeth Page B

Book: High Plains Hearts by Janet Spaeth Read Free Book Online
Authors: Janet Spaeth
length of their property. It was backlit with a soft blue light. Over one section a bright golden light shone, signifying the star that led the shepherds to the stable.
    Another house was wrapped entirely in lights, like a gigantic present.
    Tess quickly picked her favorites. The Bethlehem scene showed great creativity, she said, and Jake nodded. “The owner is a doctor with no creative ability at all except in healing, but he’s very religious. He hired some college students to do it.”
    Knowing that took nothing away from her enjoyment of it.
    As they drove through the area, large white flakes began to fall.
    “Look at that. It’s truly the Christmas season,” she said as she cradled her hands around the warm mug of hot chocolate.
    “I can’t imagine living someplace where it was warm at Christmas,” he said. “As much as I complain about the snow, this is one time when I want to see it.”
    “Isn’t it interesting that we do depend upon it to bring us to the season?” she asked. “Like for us, anyway, there are cues. Would it be Christmas without the snow and the lights and the trees?”
    “Yes,” he said reflectively, “it would be, but would we truly feel it? I hear people all the time saying they don’t have the Christmas spirit or they’re not in the mood right now for Christmas.”
    “I wonder about that because it’s true. I know I’ve felt it myself. Why do we need these cues? I’ve even heard children say it, so it’s not because we’re jaded or shopworn.”
    “Could it be that this is not a solitary holiday, that we need to share it with others? There’s such a universal joy surrounding this time of year. Maybe that’s it. We pick up on other people’s droopiness.” He shrugged. “I never really thought about it, but you’re right. It is an intriguing phenomenon.”
    “I’ve been giving Reverend Barnes’s sermon this morning some thought. Remember how he asked us to focus on what we want?”
    “I’m glad he did.”
    “And what have you decided?” he asked, his head cocked as he listened carefully.
    “I don’t know yet. But it is a challenge. It’s like shopping in the world’s biggest candy store. What do I want? About the only thing I’m sure of is that I know I want more than a racing car.” They both laughed at the memory of the little boy who had amused the congregation that morning.
    “There is so much I want. The usual good things like health and happiness for my family and friends,” he said, “but I think Reverend Barnes means more than that. What do we want for ourselves?”
    “It’s a hard thing to know and even harder to put into words. But I think that’s part of what he was getting at,” she mused thoughtfully, watching the Christmas lights as he continued to drive slowly.
    “The minister who taught our confirmation class many years ago said our prayers are a good way of finding out what’s truly important to us. What matters enough to pray about? And do we care enough to take whatever action we can?” Jake slowed down to avoid a cat that dashed across the road.
    “Can you explain?”
    “Well, he gave the example of someone who is in a nursing home. We may care enough to pray about that person, but do we care enough to leave the comfort of our homes and visit him? And then he also said we should ask how God must feel about our priorities. A good exercise might be to compare ours to His.”
    “It’s a wonderful concept,” she said softly. “I’ll have to keep that in mind as I work through my wish list this week.”
    “Unfortunately,” he continued, as they left the Pines and traveled back toward the rest of the End, “this doesn’t do much good when my most fervent prayer is something like, ‘Oh God, please let this roaster work,’ or, ‘If You let my car start, I will love You forever.’ Selfish little things like that. I wonder sometimes if God gets a bit annoyed with me.”
    She chuckled. “Well, God is probably

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