Neighbors’ Good Deed Was Selfless Act of Kindness

A reader shares her neighbors’ good deed during the holidays.


| January/February 2013


It was Christmas Eve last year, and oh, how I had dreaded its arrival. I knew I shouldn’t feel that way, but the silence inside my house was unbearable. My only company was the television, and most shows didn’t hold my interest long. I had my daily Bible reading and my prayers, too, and I tried not to think about the past.

However, when the Christmas season arrived, I couldn’t help thinking about the happier times of Christmases past. Then I thought about earlier that year, in spring, when my husband, Ted, went to be with the Lord. Ours had been a good marriage, and what made losing Ted even more difficult was that most of the family on his side and mine were all gone as well.

It was my first lonely Christmas without Ted, and the only decoration I put out was the Nativity scene, which I displayed on the dining room table where my family had once gathered in happy excitement, surrounded by good food, love and laughter.

I hadn’t forgotten that the true meaning of Christmas was to celebrate our Lord’s birthday. In my heart, I was happy I had a Lord and Savior who cared for me and was always there for me, but I had such a yearning for someone to love and hug on that Christmas Eve.

“God, please help me cope with my loneliness,” I prayed as I stood at my front window in the late afternoon and gazed out past the front yard to the street.

The Good Deed

I looked across to my neighbors’ house. Patrick and Desarae McDonnell had a young son, Aiden, and a teenage daughter, Alyssa. I could see their Christmas tree decorated with colorful ornaments and bright lights. In my imagination, I heard the happy sounds of family love as they sat down to Christmas Eve dinner.





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