Christmas story is a special genre. I love a good Christmas story – warm, inspiring, sincere, with a touch of magic an a happy ending. Not exactly the story I want to share.
It was the end of 2000. We had got a beautiful white Christmas and the snow kept falling. My daughter and I just left a meeting and headed home – a short walk in a quiet street between a rich neighbourhood and old city cemetery. Walking arm in arm we didn’t hurry: no one was waiting for us at home. The evening was magic, and when I noticed two silhouettes in the end of the street moving towards us, I immediately knew they were a danger. My daughter felt the same way; we grew silent and kept walking because there were nowhere else to go.
It all happened suddenly and lasted just a few seconds. They pushed us hard and we fell into the pile of snow, One of them grabbed my purse and they run. You probably know that some people get killed for just a handful of change. I felt humiliated and lucky at the same time. At that moment I knew that there were a pair of glasses in that purse, nothing else. When we came home I realised that there was also my ID. We had to call the Police. Beautiful, quiet evening turned into a nightmare.
Every day we had to come to the Police station to be asked more questions. In the notorious picture album we spotted our guy, and were told that our episode is #6, and some people got kicked and beaten. We were lucky indeed.
They got caught after 3-4 days. One of the victims run behind them and called the Police on the run. I got my ID back.
Then we had to go to the court. One of the guys, the one who was beating the victims, got a year in jail as a juvenile, and a 6 months probation.
Some days later we met his mother in the market. We came over and told her that we were sorry she had to go through all of that. She cried. We became friends. Soon she joined the church; it gave her strength and helped to fight her loneliness. After a year her son came home, they both visited us and he said he was sorry. He joined the Church following his mother’s example. After 6 months of probation, he was involved in a robbery and was sentenced for three years, this time in an adult jail.
To be utterly honest, I don’t know if I would feel compassion towards him and his mother if he hurt my daughter. I don’t know, and I don’t want to know. I am not a saint.
I remember this story every Christmas – the only Christmas story I have been a part of.
I would love to be more compassionate and forgiving. God gave us the best gift – His beloved Son. This gift means that He loves us as imperfect as we are, and He will never give up on us. I guess, He expects us to never give up on our fellow beings too.