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Don't Miss Jesus

Monday, December 20, 1976, a week before Christmas.

It would be a busy week getting ready for my kids and grandkids on Christmas Eve.

  • Monday - I had planned to clean house
  • Tuesday - Rest
  • Wednesday - Bake cookies, brownies, and cakes
  • Thursday - Bake the ham; make my baked-beans and the potato salad
  • Friday - Christmas Eve - it would be here before you knew it.

All went as planned.  I did clean on Monday, and on Tuesday I rested.  While I was resting I had a Christian radio station on, and they began to tell short story about a shoemaker who had a dream. The shoemaker dreamed that Jesus spoke to him and said that he would visit him tomorrow.  The next day after the shoemaker had had his dream he started cleaning his little shoe-shop getting ready for Jesus' visit - while he was busy cleaning he had three interruptions:
1) An old lady - she needed just to come in and get warm, but the shoemaker told her she couldn't stay, and he was too busy to even give her a cup of tea; 2) A young boy - the shoemaker told the boy he didn't have time for him, and that the hole in his shoe would have to wait .... to come back tomorrow; 3) Later that day a young man came in wanting to tell the good news of his bride to be, but the shoemaker didn't have time to talk.


Night came and as the shoemaker got down to pray he said, "Lord, you said you were coming to visit me today, but you didn't come". A voice came back softly, and said, "I came three times, but you were too busy.  All day I had thought to myself how that man had missed Jesus, and how easy it is to do.


Wednesday - I baked cookies, brownies, cakes, and banana bread. I had them all wrapped up, and sitting on the table ready to give to the kids and grandkids.


Thursday - I baked the ham, made baked-beans and potatoes salad, again all ready and waiting for the kids to come over Christmas Eve.


Friday, December 24th, 3:00 a.m. - It was very cold with the wind chill of 18 below zero.  I heard my husband in the living-room praying, and then I heard the back door open. We could always tell when the back door was being opened or closed due to the little bell that we had on the door. This was to let us know when the kids were coming and going.


My husband was talking to someone, and then I heard the door close. It was about a second or two later my husband came in the bedroom and started to get dressed. I asked him where he was going. He told me that a man came to the back door asking for directions to 12 Mile and Dequindre. And that he was going to drive him there. I asked why and he told me that this man was not wearing a coat, and when he looked out the window he noticed that the man was not driving a car. So my husband decided to drive the man to 12 Mile and Dequirdre knowing that it was too far for him to walk in the bitter cold especially without a coat.


I tried to go back to sleep, but I heard the back door open again, and my husband talking to that the man again. Then my husband came into the bedroom and asked me if would get up and put a pot of coffee on. When I came into the kitchen, there was a stranger sitting at the kitchen table. I put on the coffee and my husband asked the stranger ifhe would like some ham and eggs. The stranger replied, "Just coffee and toast."  As I was preparing the food the stranger and my
husband was talking.


My husband asked the man what his name was, and the man took out his wallet and handed it to my husband. For some reason my husband would not take the wallet, so the stranger handed it to me. I found in the wallet a doctor's business card, so I took that out, and then handed the wallet back to the stranger. He took the wallet, and then put it in
my garbage can. My husband and I looked at each other and we knew something was wrong.


We sat up with the stranger until morning. Then at 8:00 a.m. I called the doctor's number that was on the business card. I got the doctor's answering machine, so I left the following message, "I have a patient of yours' and he doesn't know who he is, or where he has been, or where he is going."  While we were waiting to hear back from the doctor, the stranger asked if he could lay down on the couch, and my husband said yes, and then asked me if I would get the stranger an afghan.


At 9:00 a.m., a call came in from the stranger's doctor. The doctor had asked if we could take the man to the hospital. My husband went out to warm the car (because the man didn't have a coat). I put an afghan around him, and then we left for the hospital. The only thing we could tell them at the hospital was that "he was a stranger and we took him in."  On the way home from the hospital, my husband and I stopped and had breakfast. During breakfast, my husband told me that the first time the man came to the back door he asked for directions.


Then the second time he came to the back door he was standing holding his shoes in his hands, "he said it was the friendliest house on the block."  My husband then asked the stranger in and frisked him (not knowing who or what to think). Then my husband asked the stranger from what direction he was coming from, and he replied, "From across the field in the back of your house, he said that there was a well trodden path to your back door." This was during the winter time and snow was on the ground (we were having prayer and praise meetings every Monday night during this


It was about 11 :30 a.m. when we finally got home, and I had a lot to do, because my kids and grandkids would be over about 6:30 or 7:00 p.m. As I was getting ready to prepare, the food the phone rang. It was the stranger's wife. She begin to tell me how she had been up all night calling hospitals and police stations, she went on to tell me that her husband was a good man, and that he never missed lighting of the candles (Hanukkah - they were Jewish and this was their Christmas). She wanted to thank us for helping her husband, and she hated to asked me knowing that this was a busy day for us, but if she came over would we be willing to help her find her husband's car. I told her "yes," but the police had found her husband's car two streets over, and in a ditch.


We later found out that the report from the hospital showed the stranger had suffered a head injury, but there was no sign of drugs, nor alcohol in his blood.


8:00 p.m., Christmas Eve


We were all together and the grandkids were ready to open the gifts, but before we did I told everyone I had an important true story to tell. I told them about the man that had missed Jesus (you could have heard a pin dropped).


December 25th - Christmas Day, Saturday


December 27th - Monday


My husband went to work, and I went to help my daughter move from the apartment to a house. At about 4:30 pm my husband got home from work, and when I got home from helping my daughter he asked me if! had any idea who left a basket of apples on the porch. I told him I didn't know that I had been gone all day too.


Then about 5:30 p.m. the phone rang it was the voice of an older woman, "Mrs. Jackson?" I replied, "Yes, speaking."


"I am the mother of the young man that you and your husband took to the hospital. My husband and I wanted to meet the kind of people who would take my son in. I hope you enjoy the apples, and sorry that we missed you and your husband."
It was our very best Christmas, because my husband and I were happy to say "We didn't miss JESUS!"


Curley & Juanita Jackson

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