Santa is a big part of our annual Christmas party for Friends of Recovery, but I had not met the man playing Santa this year.
After Santa's big entrance to a rousing vocal of "Here Comes Santa Clause," we encouraged the children to have their picture taken with Santa and get a stuffed animal. We also requested that teenagers and adults let the young children go first to make sure we had enough photo paper for the little ones.
So what were all those young men doing on the stage with Santa posing for a picture? I started to ask and then thought better of it.
After a long day of preparing for the Christmas party and organizing the door prize drawings, I was sitting at a table in the back of the room eating a late dinner when jolly ol' Santa stopped by with a big grin on his bearded face.
"Did you see those guys up on the stage with me?" he asked.
"Yes, and I was wondering what was going on," I said. "Well, they were guys I used to do drugs with! I got clean, but I didn't go through a program like they are doing."
"How did you do it?" I asked.
With a big smile and eyes shining he proudly explained, "I got saved and it was the strength I got from Jesus that helped me quit and keeps me clean. Those guys in the program - they didn't recognize me in this Santa suit - but I recognized them. We all used to get high together. So I started calling them by name to come up on the stage. They were really wondering how I knew their names. Once they got up close and heard me talk, then they recognized me. Now, we have a picture of all of us - celebrating Christmas with our kids and families - drug free!"
I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me. Philippians 4:13
May the Spirit of Christmas make all things possible that bring you Peace, Love, and Happiness thru this Christmas Season and into the New Year!
The pastors and membership of New Life Church, along with Friends of Recovery, make this family Christmas party possible for the Dawson County Treatment Court participants and their families.
Merry Christmas, Arlene McClure,
Friends of Recovery