The Ghost of Christmas Present
By Jerry Brecheisen

Now they've sold just about everything on eBay! No, I'm not talking the kitchen sink; I'm talking about a late grandpa and his walking cane. This week's "winning" bid was $65,000, and it probably included a piece of Florida property with a swamp view. It seems the "Ghost of Christmas Present" was playing hopscotch in the attics of his grandson's mind, so his mother posted the presence of the posthumous patriarch on the famed Internet auction site.

The rest of the story is this: The haunt-ee had once used the cane on the south side of the grandson to "encourage him along." I imagine the boy had been raised to believe that such "encouragement" was a criminal offense; so he was not only upset by the demise of his grandfather, he was sure that the cane had a life of its own. Trying to avoid a cane mutiny, the designing daughter sought to soothe the son by selling her father's lingering spirit-along with his "encourager."

I can almost hear my dearly departed mother doing whirligigs in the grave.

Her generation didn't discourage "encouragement." I was "encouraged along" throughout my childhood and early adolescence. And I'm the better because of it. No, of course I don't believe in random canings! I do believe in "encouragement" of one sort or another, however. The "encouragements" in my life only proved a love that dared to discourage my bad behavior and seek a remedy.

The Christmas season isn't about cane-conning or spirit-selling. It's about a love that dared do discourage our bad behavior, and birthed a remedy.

About a heavenly Father who refused to ignore the deeds that brought our self-inflicted pain. Christmas is about a God who stepped across the line of heaven to pay the penalties of earth-in person. He didn't use a cane to exact the punishment. He used a Cross. His own. And I'm the better because of it.

Visit Jerry Brecheisen Online!