Dr. James Dobson relates the story of an elderly woman named Stella Thornhope who was struggling with her first Christmas alone. Her husband had died just a few months prior through a slow developing cancer. Late that afternoon the doorbell rang, and there was a delivery boy with a box. She said, "What's in the box?" The young man opened up the flap, and inside was a little puppy, a golden Labrador Retriever. "This is for you, Ma'am. He's six weeks old, completely housebroken." "Who sent this?" Mrs. Thornhope asked.
The young man handed her an envelope and said, "It's all explained here in this envelope, Ma'am." In desperation she again asked, "Who sent me this puppy?" As the young man turned to leave, he said, "Your husband, Ma'am. Merry Christmas." She opened up the letter from her husband. He had written it three weeks before he died and left it with the kennel owners to be delivered with the puppy as his last Christmas gift to her. The letter was full of love and encouragement and admonishments to be strong. He vowed that he was waiting for the day when she would join him. He had sent her this young animal to keep her company until then.
She wiped away her tears and picked up the golden furry ball and held it to her neck. Suddenly, Stella felt the most amazing sensation of peace washing over her. Her heart felt a joy and a wonder greater than the grief and loneliness. "Little fella," she said to the dog, "It's just you and me, but we are going to be okay."
This Christmas time will be a time of happiness for so many people around the world. However, it will also be a time of sadness for many people who have lost loved ones and who will feel the loneliness that is so hard to deal with. Our Lord knows the loneliness that you may feel and He comes to us in many different ways. I believe that God sends angels in many forms to comfort us when we are feeling heartbroken. In Luke 4:18, Jesus says these words to us, " . . . He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted . . . " I believe these words to be true and may God bless you and your family this Christmas season.