I found her face down on the frozen surface of Easter Lake--naked, filthy, and alone. I walked on by, but returned to stare for several moments. Then, I left the paved surface of the trail and made my way through the weeds to the water's edge. I paused a second time. It looked frozen and shallow, but I had no desire to get my feet wet so far from my house. I took a tentative step onto the ice. It held me. I slid another few feet. Then a few feet more and I scooped her into my arms and hurried back to the trail. I cradled her in my arms all the way home, despite a few odd looks from others passing on the trail.
When I reached my house, I had a chance to give her a closer look. She hadn't exactly been given tender loving care. In addition to the filth, someone had used a permanent marker on her head, her hands and feet, and one ear.
I gave her a bath, using a brush to scrub away the dirt and grime. I tried every hack found on the internet to remove the purple marks on her body, but they remained. I decided she would have to be loved in spite of her "bruises."
I looked through my tub of scraps of material and fashioned a diaper, a nightgown and a cap for this little one. With each addition, it seemed to me her smile grew wider.
I thought maybe it was appropriate that I found her the day after Christmas. The day after my Savior had been born.
He didn't slide across a frozen lake to scoop me up, he left His heavenly home and came to earth. He didn't hesitate to rescue me, but lifted me up and washed me clean, not with soap and a scrub brush, but with His own blood. And He loved me in spite of my imperfections. Now, He has clothed me in His righteousness, crowned me with salvation, and wrapped me in His love, and peace, and strength.
Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us out of this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father. Galatians 1:3-4
Susan Lawrence taught elementary school for 33 years before hanging up her chalkboard to write and speak. She writes novels for both adults and middle grade children. Susan lives in Iowa with her husband and short-legged Lab, Molly. She has 3 children and 7 grandchildren who love to hear her stories.