I’m Tim Wallace, I’m married to Sarah, and I’ve been a member of Cambray Baptist Church for 12 years since attending university here in Gloucestershire. I am an NHS Paramedic, and work with the Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) based in Bristol.
As Christmas approaches, I know that for different people, there are many different feelings and emotions associated with this time of year. Some positive and some not so positive.
For the last few years I have not been able to get to Christmas without thinking of one particular family
For the last few years I have not been able to get to Christmas without thinking of one particular family. On Boxing day in 2017 I was working as a solo paramedic on the rapid response car in Cheltenham. I was dispatched to reports of an unconscious male, a similar age to myself, at his home address. On route I was updated to say that CPR was now in progress as he had gone into cardiac arrest.
I was greeted at the door by a 4 year old girl, dressed in a Christmas outfit. As I entered, the lounge was beautifully decorated with tinsel and lights, some torn up Christmas wrapping paper on the floor, and on TV was a Christmas film that the family had been watching together. In the middle of the floor was the wife of this young man, performing CPR on his lifeless body. I took over, very conscious of the young girl, stood with her mum, and provided advanced life support, trying to ignore the idyllic Christmas scene around me. Alongside the crew who arrived shortly after we managed to restart the man’s heart and get him to hospital with a pulse.
I checked back in after my next case, but unfortunately the man had suffered a brain aneurysm, and there was nothing that could be done for him. Life support was withdrawn and he died later that night.
I often think of that young girl and her mum. What is their Christmas like now? How can they know joy and happiness at Christmas? I am reminded of them every year since, and I’m sure for a long time to come. I am reminded of the fragility of life, of the gift of life, and it reminds me never to take my life for granted. To keep things in perspective, and to praise God for the eternal perspective we can have if we know Him.
I want to teach them that the joy of Christmas is not in the tinsel and the tree, but in LIFE! The greatest gift of all is the life of Jesus Christ.
As Sarah and I prepare to welcome a new life into this world, I want to teach my child about this gift of life that we have been given. Not just the physical life that we have but the new life in Christ that is made possible by His coming, His death and His resurrection. I want to teach them of the miracle of Christmas - that God, from the glory of His throne, made himself man and came to a broken and hurting world, not to be served but to serve. I want to teach them that the joy of Christmas is not in the tinsel and the tree, but in LIFE! The greatest gift of all is the life of Jesus Christ.
From myself and Sarah, we pray that you would all have a Christmas filled with joy, knowing God’s gift of life for yourself.
If you want to think more about what Christmas should mean, and how to trust in Jesus, we have two resources that might help. The first is a 'help yourself' resource called The Four Points. On this website you can listen to four short videos which tell you more about how to come to know Jesus as your saviour. The second is a course you can join - The Alpha Course. It's being run on ZOOM and there will be many others there too.