Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Christmas letter of One Solitary Life

Christmas can be particularly poignant for caregivers and those they care for. Holidays are benchmarks of the past, present, and future.

Reflecting how life does not always fit into a bombastic Christmas Letter, I remembered sitting in Radio City Music Hall with our daughter a few years ago.

Mesmerized with their Christmas Spectacular I felt like a kid.

Yet the scene I remember the most was their living nativity and experiencing for the first time “One Solitary Life”, a 1926 sermon by Rev. James Allan Francis.

In a sense the first modern Christmas Letter …

"He was born in an obscure village,

A child of a peasant woman.

He grew up in another obscure village
Where he worked

In a carpenter shop until he was thirty.

Then for three years
He was an itinerant preacher.

He never had a family.
Or owned a home.

He never set foot inside a big city.
He never traveled two hundred miles
From the place where he was born.

He never wrote a book or held an office
He did none of the things
That usually accompany greatness.

While he was still a young man, the tide
Of popular opinion turned against thim.

His friends deserted him.
He was turned over to his enemies.

He went through the mockery of a trial.
He was nailed to a cross
Between two thieves.

While he was dying
His executioners gambled for the only
Piece of property he had, his coat.

When he was dead, he was taken down
And laid in a borrowed grave.

Nineteen centuries have come and gone
And today he is still the central figure
For much of the human race.

All the armies that ever marched,
All the navies that ever sailed
And all the parliaments that ever sat
And all the kings that ever reigned
Put together have not affected

The life of man upon this earth

As powerfully as this
One Solitary Life."

While there certainly is nothing wrong with pride in winning a soccer tournament, getting all A's, or even just being able to get out of bed in the morning; try to see the love and care at the core of Christmas.

Wishing you all a safe, family filled, and Merry Christmas!

Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer
web site:
Patrick Ponders ...


  1. This was a lovely post. Hope your holiday is wonderful for all of you.

  2. what a beautiful entry Patrick and soo very true! I hope you and Patti and family had a very happy Christmas!!! and best wishes for the happiest of new years!!


  3. A very fitting christmas post.
    Hope you and your family had a wonderful christmas and all the best for the new year.

  4. Hi Patrick... thank you for the reminder of why we celebrate the Christmas season. There's no greater gift! Merry Christmas to you, although the wish comes a couple of days late. I have not been able to get to my computer for the past week. bea

  5. Thank you for the well-wishes, Patrick, and may the New Year bring you many peaceful, happy moments.

  6. Thank you so much for the entry. I have wonderful memories of the first time I took my daughter to Radio City in 1997 and saw the live Nativity. One Solitary Life has stayed with me since. I was disappointed, this year (2008), when I took my Mother to see the show and they did not display the scroll of One Solitary Life. I hope they bring this beautiful piece of writing back into the show.


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