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7-13-2013

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SUBJECT: Pineridge Church of God

Submitted by Boatdood (76.23.109.226) from SOUTH CAROLINA on

Like countless other churches in the south the Pineridge Church of God held an annual Christmas program. It wasn’t particularly good, nor was it bad, but the participants gave it their all each and every year. The baby Jesus was an honor given to the latest child born in the favor of the church, and Mary was played by an attractive young mother who had paid her dues. Joseph was a priviledge usually given to an up and coming young man who had recently been appointed usher, but the one constant, the one dependable blessing from one year to the next was the female solo. “Oh Holy Night” was traditionally the apex of the evening and it was unquestionably sung by none other than Annie Mae Jones, as it had been since anyone in the congregation could remember. But all things change, eventually. Annie Mae lay terminally ill in the local hospital and the day of the program was here. It would take a miracle for Annie Mae to make it this year. If ever there was a time when a miracle could be expected, it was Christmas, but the question was, had the congregation of the Pineridge Church of God run out of miracles for Annie Mae Jones?


“Amos, I need to tell you how it is. I’d like to say that there is hope, but as much as it pains me to say this, there is none. Annie Mae has very little time left on this earth. Her blood oxygen levels are perilously low. I don’t know how she’s still holding on. My belief is that she is holding on for something important to her. Maybe it’s Christmas. Maybe she wants to be here for just one more. Whatever it is, she and all of your family will be better off when she finally lets go. “


The words fell like mill stones around Amos’s neck. Letting go was something he could never do. He’d held onto Annie Mae for nearly fifty years now. She was, after all, the only woman he’d ever loved, she was the mother of his children, his wife, and his best friend for all of his life. There was no way she could leave him now. Still, she lay in the hospital bed barely aware that he was even in the room, struggling for each and every breath. Amos felt the need to talk this over with Annie Mae. Surely she would know what to do. She always did. So Amos asked the doctor to leave them alone.


In silence Amos gently touched Annie Mae’s face, gently brushing the thin gray hair from her cheek. As he did so a tear slipped out of one eye and slowly made its way across his wrinkled face. She couldn’t leave him. Not now. Not ever. But as these thoughts collected in his mind it seemed that indeed she could. Maybe she was already gone, and then he felt a familiar grasp in his hand. Yes, she was still holding on, and then slowly, she opened her eyes. As her still brilliant blue eyes met his she gathered the breath to ask, “Amos, this is Christmas Eve, right?”.


Amos was delighted to hear her voice yet again. There was a time just a few short hours ago when he was sure he’d never hear it again. “Yes Annie Mae. It’s Christmas Eve.”


Simply knowing that her time had arrived yet once more seemed to breathe life into Annie Mae and she sat upright in her bed and spoke, “Amos, you’ve got to get me to the church in time for the program. Everyone would be so disappointed if I didn’t do my solo.”


She sounded so brave and sure with the words, but as soon as they passed her lips she again struggled, and gasped for air. This was a cruel way for such a gentle soul to die. How could God allow this, and on Christmas Eve?



  1. 3rdbar (75.31.87.22) from TEXAS says Wow ....
    What a special Christmas gift ...

    I can't really add much more ... 3rdbar.





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