Debbie and Steve held each other. Neither said a word, although Steve was crying inside. How God, how can I get our children Christmas gifts? We have no money. Steve’s voice was barely a whisper. “I don’t know what to do. I am so sorry, Debbie.”
Debbie let go of Steve and pushed him back so she could look him in the eye. “It isn’t your fault. You didn’t cause your injury. The company should have warned you about the weight changes to the boxes.”
Steve reluctantly nodded in agreement. They held he each other once more. Steve’s voice cracked as he spoke. “It may not be my fault, but I can’t even afford simple matchbox cars for our kids. I know that isn’t what Christmas is about, but they are so young. They deserve something.”
Debbie held him tightly. “God will provide, Steve. He won’t leave us like this.”
Steve laid his head on her shoulder. “But will it be in time for Christmas? We need a miracle.”
The two sat and prayed together before one of their boys yelled, and they both went to see what mischief they had managed to find themselves in again. They found the two boys arguing over one of their Fischer Price toys. Debbie intervened while Steve stood in the doorway praying his family would experience a Christmas miracle. Debbie soon had the kids laughing and playing in harmony. Steve’s injured back began to spasm, and he left for the sweet relief of the family room couch.
Some show played on the television while he pondered if God actually existed. Perhaps they had all fooled themselves. If ever there was a need in his life it was now. They did not have reliable friends. Most of their friends were almost as destitute as they had become. Family members had abandoned them. They said it was to help them learn a life lesson. Steve stared at the ceiling and spoke to God. Do babies have to learn these lessons too? You gave me these children and this broken body. I’m doing my best, but it isn’t helping.
Steve put on a pair of headphones and turned on some music in the hopes of drowning out his panicked mind. Even here his thoughts raced in. Why hasn’t the lawyer called? It’s almost Christmas. It’s a fair settlement, and far cheaper for the insurance company than to continue paying disability for years to come. What is taking so long?
Debbie tried to put on an encouraging demeanor and helped Steve decorate their mobile home. Lights were hung outside around the windows and on the trim of the roof. Christmas music played inside, and the children watched the classic Christmas specials that would occasionally appear on television. Although at their age, the shows brought more encouragement to Debbie and Steve.
A week before Christmas Steve was in his small bedroom office struggling to find a way to get the children gifts when the phone rang. It was his lawyer Garcia. “Steve, I have some good news for you.”
Steve was almost afraid to ask. “Did they agree to the settlement?”
Garcia’s voice sounded almost giddy. “Before I tell you, there is something you need to understand. Just a year ago you would have received more than enough money to live on the rest of your life with your injury, but the laws changed. Now, you would be lucky to get your first offer, no matter how reasonable.”
Steve could feel his heart sinking and the darkness closing back in, but Garcia continued. “That’s why what I am about to tell you is so miraculous. They agreed to your terms. In fact, they said it was completely fair and saw no reason to counter. On top of that, I have a check for the rest of this month.”
Steve felt light-headed. “You mean they are still paying me a disability check?”
Garcia’s words were quick, like a man who could not wait to tell his news. “Exactly! You get the settlement and your disability for the remainder of this month. I just need you or Debbie to come pick up the check. Do you have plans for it?”
Steve jumped up and down with joy. Every jolt felt like someone just punched him in the spine, but he did not care. In fact, Steve welcomed the pain. He was not going to let it stop his celebration. “I plan to give my family the best Christmas ever. We’ll be over.”
“Merry Christmas.” Said Garcia.
“Merry Christmas.’ Said Steve.
Debbie walked out of the boy’s room with a hopeful smile. “I take it that was good news?”
Steve grinned. “Get the boys dressed. We need to go pick up a check, and then go Christmas shopping.”
Debbie grinned and said, “See, I told you.” Then she turned on her heel, and they all prepared to enjoy their Christmas miracle.