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The Gift of Light

It happened in our neighborhood–that thing we think happens just in other neighborhoods, in other towns, in big cities with big buildings and in the pages of a book.  Things we only read about. Only we woke to broken outdoor lights. Smashed in by someone less happy than ourselves, someone looking for a flicker of joy in a place it can’t be found.

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And so for two weeks it would seem that darkness reigned down our street. That busted lights and shattered glass had stamped its name on our driveway. And that fear had found a new porch on which to rest.

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But on Tuesday, our neighbor knocked. His frozen fingers fumbled with a box from Home Depot and his voice said gently, “I can replace your lights for you, if you’d like.”

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And so our neighbor who is our neighbor from around the block dismantled our mangled metal with his own tools.

While he worked, the rain turned to sleet, turned to snow. And an eight year old boy said to himself, “I want to be like this guy.”

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In minutes, what was once dark…

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Became bright again. Became whole.

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And what might have happened–an exchange of dollars for labor or even dollars for lights, never did.

It was one neighbor saying, “Merry Christmas!” to the other. And the other knowing they’d been blessed.

Thank you, Mr. Eubank, for this gift of light.

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