As she entered the room dressed in orange scrubs matching every other girl in the line of inmates,
her dark brown eyes, hollow and empty, drew me in; but it was when she spoke that my heart melted.
As she put her arms around me, she whispered, "My name is Angel."
I hugged her, overwhelmed at the thought of hugging an "angel" in jail.
Little did I know as our time with the girls ended that evening,
Angel would be the one to say she wanted to be baptized.
Frail, sad, and broken,
Angel knew she needed more.
Life without God hadn't worked out too well.
She'd lost a lot along the way, and
she knew she couldn't face another day on her own.
Where do we turn when every direction we've tried turns out to be a dead end?
Who can we trust when we've been hurt by so many we love?
There's only one place to turn that changes everything about today and tomorrow and the next day.
There's only one Person we can trust with every little part of our past, present, and future.
It's in the turning and the trusting that we meet Him who has been waiting patiently for us through every wrong turn and every bad choice.
The Grace-Giver, the Unconditional Savior, the Constant Comforter, the Eternity-Promiser, the Joy-Sustainer.....He longs for all of us to turn and trust.
He'll never force His way into our lives.
He'll never demand more than we can give.
No amount of money can buy what He offers.
But the grace we receive when we surrender to Him frees us from everything this world may see as prison bars.
Angel had it all, and she was ready to lay it all at His feet.
She was ready to show Him that He was hers.
The only thing she had to offer was herself,
and the only thing He wanted was her.
Worth more than the most extravagant gift under any Christmas tree this year,
grace was waiting to be unwrapped by Angel.
It's waiting to be unwrapped by you.
Over 2,000 years ago, a host of angels sang as the Grace-Giver arrived in a wooden manger.
Last night, the angels sang as the Grace-Giver washed away every ounce of Angel's past in a plastic trough.
Baptizing a Christmas Angel.
Seeing His grace wash over her precious face.
It still amazes me.
I hope His gift of grace amazes you this Christmas.
Accept His gift today.
You'll never receive anything better.
(Click the song title above to listen to one of my favorite songs.)