I love Christmas lights! As a child, I was always eager to join in the pleasant task of decorating each year's chosen tree, and I couldn't wait for those seasonal car rides thru the festively decorated parks and neighborhoods near our home. My extremely limited light and contrast perception was so greatly enhanced by family and friends, with their vivid descriptions of beautiful Nativity scenes, elegant trees, homey fence lines, welcoming front porches, whimsical characters, glistening stars and sparkling snowflakes. I have never thought twice about saying something like, "I want to go look at Christmas lights," and each year I look forward to decorating the front yard here at the cottage.
It was in this spirit of Christmas that I agreed to the purchase of an eleven-foot inflatable Christmas tree, and in the very same spirit that I crawled around on the cool, damp earth, securing its stakes and tying it down on one of the windiest days of the year here in Charleston. I heard laughter coming from the phone that I had handed off to my best friend so that a nice sighted person in Arizona could look thru the phone's camera, (hopefully) disregard my upward-pointing behind and assist in making sure that the tree was standing straight. Of course, I was laughing, too.
With each new Holiday season, that true joy of Christmas--represented by so many beautiful sights and sounds--is just waiting to be shared all over again. God's Light keeps shining through it all, and I am grateful for each opportunity that He gives me to share His Christmas Joy.
This year, I was pleased to once again provide music and entertainment for the Holiday Party hosted by the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired of South Carolina. Over 200 guests enjoyed a delicious catered meal, and fellowship with friends. The laughter and merry greetings that filled the room afforded the perfect environment for sharing some of my favorite Christmas tunes and taking request from attendees. I found it extremely humbling to learn that, due to the prevalence of isolation among the blindness community, this annual celebration is the only Christmas outing that some people are able to attend each year. My heartfelt thanks to Dixie Land Guide Dog Users for the generous sponsorship.
Another highlight of the 2019 Christmas season was a special presentation of dinner music and entertainment for the Grace United Methodist Church annual Christmas Dinner. This program was offered in loving memory of the late Master Chief Jackie Baker. Indeed, Jack and his wife Carolyn have been longtime personal friends and friends of the local blindness community. Over the years, the Bakers have assisted us in delivering talking Bibles, served as sighted guides at events, provided transportation to training sessions and outreach projects, and so much more! No matter how great or small the task, the Bakers were always ready and willing to serve. Heaven is surely brighter--and much more orderly--now that Jack has passed thru those gates. We send our love to Carolyn as we continue to hold her and her family in our prayers.
With another year of music and ministry drawing to a close, I would like to thank all whose ongoing prayers and support keep me going and growing as I follow God's calling on my life. Please be assured of my own daily prayers for God's blessings on your journey. Merry Christmas, and keep His Song in your heart.
© 2019 by Laurel Jean Walden