Around 4 a.m. each morning the old man of the house would get out of bed to pray. Proceeding down the hall to the dining room he would flip the switch lighting the tiny Christmas tree sitting on the ledge of the big bay window that faced the street. Their’s was one of many modest houses along the road. It just so happened that the tiny tree was the only recognition of Christmas on display and lit up at that hour of the morning. While there were a few much more elaborate decorations on the houses along the road, they remained unlit in the early morning hours.
The lady of the house being a much more frugal person would say, “Henry, why do you turn the electricity to that tree on at such an early hour?” Then she would add, “No-one sees it.” He would answer, “Wrong on all counts, my dear. God sees the little tree. He and Jesus, and the Holy Spirit see the the tree’s lights along with those early predawn risers that live in the tenement houses down at the far end of the road making their way to the bus stop and on to a day’s work at various jobs. But, most important,the few bums living in the hobo jungle next to the railroad track would certainly see the tree as they made their way to the bus stop in hopes of spunging a little change for a jug or a fix to begin their day.” “We’ll never know,” he’d say “who may be inspired by the lights on the tiny tree.”
After a bowl of porridge, the old man would return to his bed, his soul comforted by the prayer and his belly warmed by the porridge, he would slip back into slumber.
The lady of the house would turn off the lights on the little tree. Each morning she did this, the old man of the house would be awakened by a crying sound as that of a little child in distress. Getting out of bed, he would listen intently for the sound of the crying that seemed to come from the dining room where the tiny tree was. As soon as he turned the tree lights back on, the crying stopped. He shook his head and smiled. Had his imagination run away with him? Was he dreaming? Only God and His angels will ever know what effect the lights on a tiny Christmas tree will have on a few weary people at the beginning of an early morning. And only eternity will tell of the effect of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ on so many souls.