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Weekly e-Gram for members and friends of Dublin Community Church

June 25, 2010


It’s almost July! Rev. Tussing is enjoying a week of vacation. Two of my kids are on a mission trip with youth group, and another is preparing to go to church camp. Three weeks ago my family was gearing up for a vacation in Florida. And then I received one of those phone calls I never thought in a million years I would receive. Something odd and unbelievable had happened. My sister called to tell me that a tree had fallen over on my parents’ house in Lima.

OK, how bad could it be? A little damage to the roof? Thankfully my parents had moved out of their home and into assisted living three months ago. So, no one was in the house at the time the tree fell – no one was hurt. No big deal, right? But then I saw the house…

The tree that fell was a huge Oak tree, estimated to be about 150 years old. The trunk was so heavy that a 9000 pound crane could not budge it off the house. The kitchen, an office and the garage were completely destroyed. A major chunk of my childhood home – the house where we celebrated Christmas and birthdays for 46 years – the house that held a million memories for me - was in ruins.

We had no choice but to roll up our sleeves and start the cleanup. My family vacation to Florida was cancelled and instead I spent the week running back and forth between Dublin and Lima trying to help any way that I could.

Then one day, about a week after the tree fell, a really amazing thing happened. My sister and I were trying to salvage some items out of what was left of the garage when we discovered a cardboard box in a metal cabinet at the back of the garage. Tucked inside the box were three wrapped Christmas presents – one for my mother, one for my sister, and one for me, all from my dad. Apparently, at some point my dad had hidden the packages in the garage – and then had forgotten about them! Inside the box with the presents was a “packing slip” showing that the items inside those packages had been purchased back in 1991!!

Growing up, every year at Christmas my dad used to order some little surprise gift for us – something we hadn’t asked for and weren’t expecting – something that was always really fun and different. So when my sister and I found those 20 year old packages, we couldn’t believe it – and we couldn’t wait to see what was inside! We took them to the assisted living facility where my parents now live – and burst through the door saying, “Merry Christmas!” My parents were, of course, puzzled – but we quickly explained what we had found. And then, on the count of three, we all ripped open our presents, laughing and squealing like children on Christmas morning. And in a way, it WAS Christmas morning.

I looked around at my sister and parents’ smiling faces and said, “Isn’t it neat how just when things seem really bad, all of a sudden it’s Christmas?!” Christmas in (almost!) July…

Shalom, Pastor Lisa Bowersock

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