I was that kid.
Yes, I was that kid who was caught up in the excitement and allure of that day. I can remember wanting to get my key from Mr. Jingaling from Halle’s Department Store. I loved the Christmas tree lighting at Public Square and then going around the entire Shaker Square to see all of the lights and decorations. I enjoyed going to Severance to see their display, too. One Christmas Eve night, I couldn’t go to sleep, staring at my wall while living in “The Projects”, off Woodland and Mt. Carmel, seeing shadows of what were reindeer and a sleigh, having difficulty trying to fall asleep. I was that kid.
Today, if I were coming up still living in that location, I would have figured it out earlier it was a lie. Why? Because no big, fat white man wearing a red suit would dare to be in “The Hood” carrying a big bag of goodies, riding on a sleigh no matter how much snow was on the ground. Besides, there was no fireplace to come down and he’d been shot for breaking and entering. Wouldn’t have made it to my apartment. The brothas would have robbed him and taken the skids off the sleigh. They’d find him shoved up under a bush somewhere, and Rudolph would have been sitting on somebody’s table, in a plate. I wouldn’t have had to learn the truth.
But, I did learn the truth. In 1978, at the age of 21, I figured it out all right. I did my research, looking it up in several encyclopedias, other historical books. I couldn’t find anything about it in the Bible and I wondered why? I then picked up a few books from our prophet, Mrs. White, and read what she said, but it further disturbed me. Then I went to the one person who always taught me to tell the truth, my mother, and I asked her the question, “Mom, you always taught us to tell the truth. So, how is it that you knew what the truth was, being an Adventist, yet you would teach me a lie?” My mother didn’t have a ready answer because it was then she realized there was no truth to tell me and there is never any justification or excuse for a lie. Our relationship has never been the same since.
I recently was married and this would have been our first, but I couldn’t live the lie, too. I announced there would be no Christmas at this address, so she went to her mother’s address where the lie was alive and well. There wouldn’t be a second attempt at my address because that relationship was finished. I would marry again, and made it clear, there would be no Christmas, no lies, in my home. I was standing up for the truth despite those who desired to follow the lie and justify their reasoning, which I cannot see supported by Scripture. Sorry Mrs. White, this is the one time I have to believe it was a “matter of opinion” and not something which carried one of those, “I have been shown…” which would have given me some inkling of why you said what you said, but this man is going to be like Joshua, who alone with only one man who came back from an investigation who was willing to tell the “truth”. That’s who I’m going to be like and I like what you said, so I’m going to stand upon it: “As for me and my house, we are going to serve the Lord.”
And, not going to serve up any more lies.
December 12, 2014