Beacon of love

Chocolate peppermint cookies

Scarlett hastily scraped up the last bit of cookie dough as she thought, “Yes, that’s enough for one more cookie”.   Plopping the last gooey bit on the cookie sheet, she licked her fingers, and then silently wondered if the minuscule amount of raw egg she had ingested contained Salmonella. “Oh well, it’s too late to worry about it now”, she mused.  She opened the oven door, slid the pan in and set the timer.

Now, she only had to wait approximately 15 minutes, for delicious chewy goodness.  That left plenty of time to address the remaining Christmas cards and perhaps wrap one more gift.  She was looking forward to sitting down to watch a Christmas movie, with a plate full of cookies and a cold glass of milk.  But first, as soon as the cookies came out of the oven, she was running a nice warm bubble bath.  Tonight she would relax; tonight was about her.

“Scarlett, honey, are you home?” Mrs. Avery’s warbled voice pierced the silence at that moment reminding Scarlett of an old worn record that had reached the end of play and needed to be removed from the turn table.  Oh no, not tonight.  Scarlett seriously considered remaining silent, hiding in her bedroom.  She could wait there for Mrs. Avery to turn her support hose ridden little legs planted firmly in their reliable, built-for-comfort loafers, back towards home.  Mrs. Avery was patient tonight though.  That crazy feline fur ball of hers must be loose again and Scarlett was in no mood to go looking for her.

Scarlett figured she might as well get whatever it was over with so she could resume her night of relaxation.  As she opened the door, she noticed that Mrs. Avery’s grey hair was all she could see sticking up from behind the stack of beautiful packages she carried.  They were brightly adorned in Christmas wrappings with festive pinecones and sprigs of holly instead of bows.  Scarlett immediately felt regretful for her earlier ill-mannered decision to delay answering the door.  She had unknowingly caused a frail woman of 83 to stand outside under the weight of this colorful burden.

“Come in, please.  Let me help you with those packages.   Where are you going with all of this?” asked Scarlett.   “Oh, they are all for you my dear.  I probably went a bit overboard wrapping mostly food stuff, but I wanted to bless you”, replied Mrs. Avery.  “Go ahead and open them up as they will need to be refrigerated.”

As Scarlett opened boxes containing homemade meals, complete with desserts her eyes filled with tears.  “You did all of this, just for me?” she asked.  “Well, I see you getting home after work every day and most nights you have to rush right back off for class.  I know you don’t eat right because I see you cleaning out the fast food bags from your car.  I thought the best gift I could give you was the gift of time, so I prepared a couple of weeks’ worth of meals so you will to be able to just relax and enjoy yourself when you do finally get home.  I know your family is far away and you aren’t going to make it home this year.  I pray for you every day and I wanted to bless you.”

Scarlett was overwhelmed with shame that she had even considered ignoring this beacon of light.  She was also suddenly reminded of what Christmas was all about.  She thought about the Christmas plays back at home and her dad reading the Christmas story from the big black bible.  Jesus came to give the greatest gift.  Scarlett had received that precious gift of salvation as a child, and she was thankful that Mrs. Avery had reminded her about what this season was really all about.   She made a mental note to find out what time the Christmas services were at her local church and see if Mrs. Avery had plans.

For now though, the timer was going off on her oven, so she excused herself to remove the cookies.  As she returned, she said, “Mrs. Avery, were you doing anything special tonight?”  Mrs. Avery smiled and said, “No, I was just going to go home and call a friend and perhaps do some reading or watch that new Christmas movie”.

“That’s great!” said Scarlett.  “I have warm cookies, just out of the oven.  How about I change into something more comfortable and bring them over and we will watch that movie together?”  Mrs. Avery squeezed Scarlett’s hands in both of hers and said, “Yes, come on over, that would be delightful, my dear”.

That night began a new chapter in Scarlett’s life; her friendship with Mrs. Avery continued for many years until her precious friend left this earth to be with Jesus.  Scarlett would always remember the tiny little woman, full of life and faith and love and she would always try to be “Mrs. Avery” to someone.


  1. Thank you for this reminder. How quickly we dismiss others when they may be just what the “doctor” ordered!

  2. Ronnie Goff says:


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