by Michelle Butler, Staff Writer

Last week I was asked by my wonderful mother, “Michelle, what do you want most for Christmas?” See, my mother is and has been a single mother for the last 19 years, my father was gunned down on December 21, 1996. While my dad was not the best man in this world (we all have our faults), he was a man who preached, believed and tried to live as an example of the love of Jesus Christ. As I sat on our daily facetime call I said “Ma, let me think about it and I will get back to you.”

Usually I would have a long list of things that I would like, for example a new coat, some new boots, money, some new clothes. Something that I’ve desired for years is the Dragon Naturally Speaking program. For those of you who have not heard of it, it’s a machine that allows you to speak into it and it writes out what you say in a word document. But this year, I could not think of anything to say. After looking at the news and hearing stories of hunger, poverty, unjust treatment of our brothers and sisters across the land. Natural disasters ravishing the world and terrorism disrupting many nations across the world….as I looked into the eyes of my beautiful five month old baby boy, I realized, I have already been given the best gift of all.

In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul is talking to the church of Corinth in a response letter explaining to them how to live justly in community with those they deemed to be unrighteous. But Paul said something in the end of that passage that has stuck with me for the ever v.13 says “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” The greatest of these is love, the greatest of these is LOVE! As I sit back and think of what I want for Christmas I realized I have already received the greatest gift anyone could ever receive LOVE! That love came when I looked into the eyes of my 7lb 4oz baby boy who loves his mother with all of his little heart. That GREATEST love came when I remembered the pain and anguish I felt when I lost my 1lb 1oz baby boy seven years ago. Taylor Elijah was born the summer before my upcoming junior year at Johnson C. Smith University, he lived for 39 minutes and then went on to be with my daddy and grandmas. While I was hurt and broken, the time came for me to realize that what was ahead of me was set up because of my past experiences. While I still ache for my baby boy, I am reminded that my God, the God I serve always keeps God’s promises and I knew that one day that promise would be fulfilled. So while everyone is sitting around the Christmas tree on the morning that Christ has come unwrapping gifts, I will be looking in the face of my already unwrapped gift Carter Michael Evans who has changed my life forever, who has given me a love that is incomprehensible and incomparable to any other.