It was a cold Christmas morning and I lay snuggled deeply and fast asleep in my bed upstairs. We lived on the farm then, and I must have been about 8 or 9 years old.
I awoke to the sound of my mother's voice as she spoke softly. "Girls, get your robes and come downstairs." It was still night time, and though we always got up extra early on Christmas, it was far before our usual awakening.
Mother led us downstairs, explaining that our neighbor had just called and wanted us to look out our window. Together we quietly gathered at the doorway of our back porch, and looking upward and to the east we saw it: a large, brilliant star. The Christmas Star.
We stood and gazed at it; sleepy eyes and young hearts opened wide to receive its wonder; a moment forever etched in my memory.
For many years after, I would awaken during the dark hours of Christmas morning and creep out onto the porch, looking for the Star. I have looked out different windows, in different houses from different towns, always looking to the east, but I haven't seen it since that morning so many years ago. Sometimes I wonder if I imagined it and yet, I know I did not. For some reason, that year my family needed a Christmas miracle; a reminder of God's gift to us and of His eternal and everlasting love.
It's been a few years now since I've tip-toed on the edge of dawn, looking for the Christmas Star. Maybe this will be the year to re-open that tradition. Perhaps it was a once in a lifetime gift and if so, it will be enough. But whatever the case, I believe just as much now as I did all those years ago, in the miracle of the birth of a holy baby, and in the Star that still beckons us to follow its light.