Dad Only Came Home On Christmas
It's not just a matter of tolerance. Christmas isn't just a day of giving. it is a day of forgiving too. Any Muslim who doesn't believe in Jesus and his miraculous birth is therefore not a Muslim at all.
- Thanks To Mary
- Different Faiths, Same Names
- Sense of Chauvinism
- Happiest Days Of My Life
- Thanks For Loving Me
- God Wants Us to Be Happy
- Every Moslem Believes In Jesus
Thanks To Mary
They wanted Dad. He wasn’t there everyday. She knew it wasn't their fault. They're just caught in the middle of it with no open window to give them an opportunity to escape. Their intentions were good. What they said no matter how cynical it sounded, was clinical.
Eve looked at her three boys.They're troubled. Though sad, she’s nostalgic. It reminded her of how things used to be till her fourth and only female child seemingly arrived on the scene through a sin. It’s a stain that made Christmas a disdain. She wished it never came around. When it did, she wished it gone quickly. Her daughter in total contrast to her so called half brothers, was so bubbly.
"Whatever makes you smile easily finds its way to your heart. A smile is therefore the first step to happiness. So keep smiling baby."
"Thanks mommy. You can use a smile too. I just love Christmas."
“I'm glad to hear that."
"Thanks to Jesus," she sounded. "He gave us Mary."
"Thanks to Mary, she gave us Jesus." Her mother corrected her.
"No mommy," she refused to be corrected. "Thanks to Jesus; his birth gave us Merry Christmas."
Different Faiths, Same Names
"Oh, I see Mary."
"Did call me Mary?"
"Yes, you're her namesake."
"Jesus’, she responded so instinctively much to the boys' surprise.
"You mean I'm Mary Jesus?"
"Yes, Maryam Issa. Mary's Maryam and Jesus is Issa."
"Wow! Isn't that awesome?"
"Yes dear, it's so wow some!"
Maryam's smile grew broader with anticipation. She knew; though they couldn't afford everything the other children were having almost every day, at least today with the coming home of Jesus, they're assured of a little treat.
"Our dad isn't yours, John is. You're Christians. We're Muslims. When you're baptized, you gonna lose your beautiful Islamic names. No church would call you that. Mary, maybe but Jesus, never! Ever heard of any if not written in Spanish?"
"Yusuf stop it," said his elder brother, Elias. "You're just ten. Where do you get all that stuff?"
"You're fifteen. She's just seven. What do you know? Are you smarter than me?"
"Mommy I think it's time to come clean."
"Hey Elijah the prophet of fire, leave mommy alone," said Barrack. "Whatever mommy and dad did to each other is none of our business."
"It is our big business. Whatever they did, made us. We're a happy family. You're Mubarak; blessings of the family. Can't you see? How could they make us then break us?"
Sense of Chauvinism
"What makes you think mommy is to blame?"
"Well, she's the one with the problem. Who else can we blame?"
"Isn't Maryam another man's child? Isn't that what we've heard? Mummy stuffed up, period."
"Guys stop it," she said. "I'm sorry. Your dad's such a wonderful man. If I had another chance to choose my man again, in spite of becoming a Born again Christian; reclaiming a part of me, I'd choose him all over again."
"Yes, Barrack. If I wasn't so selfish, you guys would be with your dad."
"What? Yet you made us believe dad was the bad one?"
"Elias my son, in life we all make mistakes. It’s human. As a woman, I'm one too. Soon you’ll understand."
"Understand what, that you turned Christmas into a nightmare for us? Well, we’re so scared. Are you happy now?"
"I promise you, I'll regret that mistake for the rest of my life. The thing is, you guys mean the world to me. If you went, I'd be left with nothing. By having you, I'm holding onto the memories we shared together. I'm sorry to say this but I'll never get over him. He didn’t just love me; he was a faithful husband and a great dad to you all. I'm sorry I took all that away from you guys.”
"Mommy, what really happened?" Elias said in a new tone. He's struck by her remorse.
Happiest Days Of My Life
John and I were good friends. I met Issa in the Capital City while I was staying with my uncle. The eyes of my heart see no religion. I fell and found myself in the arms of a kind devout Muslim. I told John about it. As a devout Christian I thought he appreciated how much Issa meant to me. Whenever he visited our village, John hosted him. They became close friends. To my surprise, John convinced me to accept another man's proposal. He then turned around and told Issa that I was cheating on him. We broke up." She paused and wiped her tears. "Guys are you still listening?" They nodded.
"I was about to get married to Timothy," she continued. "But same congregation doesn't guarantee happiness. Timothy was a disgrace. The more he hurt me the more I missed Issa. Realizing what I had thrown away and that; things would never be the same again, I threw both caution and shame to the wind. I pleaded with Issa. It took me fasting and prayer to get him back. I swore before God that I'd never break his heart ever again. We got married. I gladly embraced Islam. God blessed us with you three. And those were the happiest days of my life."
Thanks For Loving Me
She looked at Maryam. She too broke into tears. They embraced.
"Thanks mommy for loving me enough not to abort me. If you tried, I would understand. You had a reason to. I love you mommy."
"Like every child, you too are a gift from God. I couldn’t throw you back right in His face?"
"How did John get in the picture again?" Barrack wanted to know.
"I had gone home to build a house. An old friend of ours had become a Bishop. John insisted and took me to church to attend Paul's first Christmas Mass. It was nice to recapture our childhood innocence. On our way back home, it started to rain. Being a stone throw away from the diocese, we went to John's house to wait for the rain to subside. I dozed off on the couch only to open my eyes not just to find myself in John's arms but seeing Issa in the doorway mouth agape. It killed him. When he regained his consciousness, he literally went mad. He left on foot leaving his car behind. He didn't accept Maryam even after full recovery. It was tough. Luckily he found room in his heart to be with us on the past three Christmas Days."
"You mean you drove him that crazy?" A stranger's voice said.
They turned only to realize they’re still seated in front of the very first shop they’d
God Wants Us to Be Happy
"Hello Santa," Maryam said while sitting on his lap. "I don't wanna lose my names. For this Christmas, would you please make John to cease being my dad? I want Jesus to be my real dad. I know he loves me. He brings me candies on Christmas though he leaves the following day making my brothers sadder. Santa, can you make him stay? Make us a family with one dad, please?"
"Christmas isn't just a day of sharing," Said Santa. "It's a day of caring too. Christmas isn't just a day of giving. It's a day of forgiving too. Reconciliation neither bends nor ends but cements bonds of every blood relation. It mends every broken relationship. Christmas is a day when estranged wife and husband relive the good old days. We're victims of a S.C.O.M initiative. John was once a member. He was therefore answering the question; what would you do if your Christian friend was in love with a non Christian?
"He broke us apart. Is that what religion is all about? Isn't God all about love? Doesn't God want to see all of us happy? If one finds love and happiness, does it really matter under which religion one finds it? God's children live happily together. Belonging to different religions doesn't make us enemies. Religions are like God's families. Do we ever hate others for being members of different families? Differences are part of human nature. If we all do good, the devil and his evil are our common enemy."
Every Moslem Believes In Jesus
"Go on dad," said Elias.
"It's not just a matter of tolerance. Christmas is for common good. Any Muslim who doesn't believe in Jesus and his miraculous birth isn't a Muslim at all. I believe in Jesus."
"Of course you you do. That's why you're Santa," said Maryam. Santa put her down and removed his costume.
"Dad!" they all shouted in merriment and gathered around him.
"Alhamdulillah! Allah Akbar. Glory is to God who has given us another chance to see this great day. To all those celebrating Christmas I say; Merry Christmas. To my dear daughter, no one’s gonna change your name. Sorry I caused you so much pain. Mommy was right. Arithmetically, historically and most importantly; biologically; I'm your father."
"Oh Issa," She heaved a sigh of relief. "Thanks so much."
"Musa, it's time for her Christmas present. Eve or should I say Hawa? Here’s my heart. Take it, it's yours. Let's be a family again and give Christmas its meaning. God willing, next year we'll do it again. I swear by this Holy Qur’an; I'm going nowhere without you. I'll be by your side to love you, both physically and geographically. Religiously, I say Merry Christmas to you and our children."
"Mary Christmas to you too," said an overwhelmed Eve. "And no more; dad only came home on Christmas!"