Miracle on Story Street

There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. – Albert Einstein

I have always loved Christmas. I love the lights, baking cookies, all those beautiful Christmas songs, setting up the Nativity, and trekking through the forest to find the perfect Christmas tree. I love decorating the house, sending cards, and gathering with friends and family around the table. I love Christmas Eve candlelight services, watching children enact the story and singing Silent Night all together. Almost 60 years of celebrating Christ’s birth and each year is as magical as the last.

I believe in miracles: always have, always will. Somehow working at Family Promise of Gallatin Valley has reinforced my belief in miracles. When we thought we were about to be homeless as an organization, Tim and Mary Barnard stepped up and helped us purchase a home on Story Street. When the recession hit and everyone was worried about fundraising, we received a large anonymous donation.

Today, on Black Friday of all days, no one here is shopping. Instead, everyone is either at work or playing with their children. All through the next month, the doorbell will ring with wonderful people we have never met bringing Christmas presents for those less fortunate. It seems that every day we are witness to the generosity of strangers. Hope was born in a stable in the form of a baby. How crazy is that?!

It reminds me of the police report book, We Don’t Make this Stuff Up. Instead of some grand entrance, God comes to us just like we all entered this world – as a helpless infant. There was no room at the inn so Mary and Joseph sleep with the animals. There are few affordable houses so our homeless families sleep in churches. This is only possible because of the miracle of love offered by 21 churches right here in Bozeman and Belgrade. Every homeless child and adult that walks through our door is a miracle, made in God’s image. Every one needs food and shelter, kindness and hope for the future.

Miracles are a way of naming the mystery that surrounds us every day. C.S. Lewis writes that “Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see.” I look at skies and clouds and babies and willing volunteers and see miracles everywhere. I can’t understand it, or put it easily in words, but there is something wonderful happening here. Yes, Bozeman, there is hope for homeless families. It’s called Family Promise, the miracle on Story Street.

Gloria Edwards, Executive Director