Thursday, December 23, 2010
Witness: The Young Couple
The young couple had moved from Texas to the Midwest for his new job with a new company. They knew no one in their city. No friends. No family.
There were problems, as there always are problems.
The mortgage market was frozen in Texas, and would stay frozen until the legislature met to lift limits on mortgage rates. Months and months away.
They were in an apartment, and finances were worse than tight.
It was cold, bitterly cold. Snow seemed non-stop. The newspapers and magazines were filled with stories of global cooling, inflation, unrest in Iran, rising energy prices. Not a propitious time to bring a child into the world.
For she was pregnant. Unhireable.
They had even talked about not being able to afford a baby.
He finally stopped the conversation with a definite “it’s not a question.” She was silently glad.
There was no money for Christmas. They asked family not to send gifts, but family send they would anyway. They scraped enough money together to make homemade peanut brittle, a favorite on both sides of the family, to mail to relatives back home.
For each other, they gave promissory notes, slips of paper with silly things for the present and hopes for the future.
They clung to each other, and they clung to their faith. He stayed angry with God, for leading them into what seemed an abyss, or at least pointless.
It was a dark Christmas.
Two months later, the baby was born. Four months after that, after the legislature acted, the house in Texas sold. He got a promotion and a raise.
They would always look back on that Christmas as the dark time. They wouldn’t talk about all the meaningful and real things they learned, or how they came to understand the true spirit of the season, or how they understood that love is all-important. There were no sweet lessons to write about later.
What they did learn, and what they did understand, was that faith is easy when times are good and wallets are filled.
Faith is not easy when wallets are empty, or someone you love is seriously ill, or a layoff is coming, or people are suffering.
But those are the times when faith matters more, when it’s only a little light in the darkness.
Related: Witness: The Innkeeper
Witness: The Shepherd
Witness: The Man from the East
Witness: The Angel
This post is also being submitted to Bonnie Gray’s blog carnival on faith at Faith Barista. To see other posts, please visit her site.
Photograph: Hayloft by Nancy Rosback. Used with permission.