Sunday, December 6, 2015

Charlie - A Christmas Story

There are some people whose very presence in the world remind us of the real meaning of Christmas.  These special people reflect the deep, generous love that caused God to send His Son.  One such person is "Charlie".  I have known Charlie for at least fifteen years.  I worked with him at Resurrection Medical Center.

Charlie, is an expert in managing all the issues of setting up, repairing, and everything else that is needed to keep all the telephones operating in the hospital.  But in addition to that, Charlie is someone who reminds the world around him of the presence of a loving and caring God.

Charlie begins each day attending the 6:15 a.m. Mass in the hospital Chapel and from there he goes out to help wherever he is needed.  Charlie does not limit his service to fixing problems with phones.  Charlie cares about people.  He stops to ask colleagues about their ill family member, or to offer a hand moving heavy boxes.  One of the most touching acts of kindness occurred one rather cold day.  A homeless man was brought by ambulance to the Emergency Room.  He was cared for and then when he was ready to be discharged someone noticed that he had no shoes.  Staff began to look around for some kind of slippers that could be given him.  Charlie was in the Emergency Room fixing a phone and he heard about the poor man's need for shoes.  Charlie had just purchased a wonderful pair of shinny, comfortable black shoes.  He went up to the cart where the homeless man was lying, gave him one shoe to try on.  The shoe fit, so Charlie took off the second shoe and gave both shoes to the homeless man.  Then Charlie put on a pair of paper surgical shoe covers so he could go back to doing his work.

A couple of years ago, Charlie wanted to do something very special to remind everyone of the real meaning of Christmas.  So he purchased several miniature houses and a nativity set and created a "Bethlehem Village" on the ground floor of the hospital.  Families waiting for patients in surgery, employees on their lunch break, visitors, and volunteers started to sit by the Bethlehem Village and pause from their work or their worries.  People began to tell others about this quiet reflective place where they could sit and remember the Christmas Story and the real meaning of the holiday.

This year Charlie grew his village and now it stands in the entrance to the hospital.  Miniature lights cover the artificial trees around the village and in the background Christmas music plays.

Charlie, is a reminder to all of us of how one person can "make a difference".  It doesn't take big things to brighten lives or brighten the world.  It is the little things that warm the heart.  God came on a cold winter night as a small helpless baby.  Charlie, thank you for reminding us about the real message of Christmas!

Full picture of the Bethlehem Village at Resurrection Medical Center

Close up of the Manager

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