Author: Donna VanLiere
Publisher: ST. Martin’s Press
Published: November 9th 2001
“If we’re open to it, God can use even the smallest thing to change our lives…to change us. It might be a laughing child, car brakes that need fixing, a sale on pot roast, a cloudless sky, a trip to the woods to cut down a Christmas tree, a schoolteacher, a Dunhill Billiard pipe….or even a pair of shoes.
Some people will never believe. They may feel that such things are too trivial, too simple, or too insignificant to forever change a life.
But I believe. And I always will”
I was asking about Christmas Reading on late November and a friend mentioned about this book. I bought it online and hoped for it to come before Christmas, but it was late. I got it on December 29th, the Christmas had passed. But I read it anyway; it took only couple of hour to finish it. I can tell that I could reread this book every Christmas, because it leads me back to the quintessence of Christmas. It was so simple, yet powerful enough to help me recall the meaning of Christmas and to cherish every person that God gives in my life.
It was about a successful lawyer, Robert Layton, and an eight year old kid, Nathan. Robert had pretty much provides everything his family needs: luxury car, big fancy house, and stuff for his wife and toys for his children. But none of it makes them happier. His life was about work, career and achievement. He was about to lose his wife when he met Nathan on Christmas Eve.
Nathan has a beautiful and happy family. He was different from another kid on his age; he was calm and very nice. His teacher said that it came from a love in the family and it was true. He watched his mom and dad love each other and he also has a loving grandmother and a sister. But his mother suffered from cancer and everyone knew that she will not passed Christmas.
Now I know why my friend said that the Christmas Shoes is so good. A good book especially for this time of the year, but you can always read it through the year and learn something, because it is about how to value people over things, to cherish every moment because time always move forward and one day you realize that you missed precious time with your loved one. Suddenly your kids are not kids anymore, or your parent lost their strength and some people even lost their mind to illness. We have very limited time to enjoy the company of our family and friend that dear to use. It is important to me. Therefore I love this book so much. I believe we are made to cherish relationship over things, because that’s all that matter on our deathbed.
“Women don’t want stuff, Robert. They want your attention. Kids don’t want things. They can only play with so many toys at one time. What they want is their daddy to pay attention to them and hold them and laugh with them. That’s what everybody has ever wanted from the beginning of time!” – p50
We might easily judge anyone else, but each person carried a different burden. I have my own battle, you have yours. Different background makes us produced different respond even to a similar situation. It all depends on the lens with use to see our life; it will define how we see ourselves, and how we value ourselves and our loved ones. All those will determine how we treat them in life. I hope we see ourselves the way God sees us, He even came to give His life to us, that’s how much He loves us, and being loved by God should make us realize how important our life and how important to love other person.
“It’s too easy to want to fix someone else but the hard part is fixing yourself. Instead of demanding more of her, you need to give more of yourself…No man ever really lives, Robert…until he gives himself away to others…that’s why Jesus born in a manger. He humbled Himself to give His life away for mankind. That’s the meaning of Christmas” – p57