December 22, 2021

Christmas in the Shadows by Alan Anderson

 This post is an effort to give a voice to those unwelcome within the greater scheme of life. Even at a holy time, there are those who live in the shadows.



I am a Leper


I am one of the least of these. No status other than one of no use. I live among shadows. I am not one to be envied, but neither am I to be feared. I am no more a sinner than anyone else.


I wander around the streets at night seeking food from the garbage of pretty people. I sleep often during the day under a bridge or other place of shade. Hopeless, homeless, and heaven less.


“Look at the dirty leper!” “We don’t want an unclean thing around us!” These are words people use to disembowel me as a person. When the Christ child is born. I will matter, I will be seen. I will no longer be alone.


A Magnificent Star


I heard there were important people who follow a star, a magnificent star, like a pillar in the sky, bright and unmistakable in its celestial presence. I looked for many nights, then one cloudless evening I saw it. Yes, like a gigantic candle illuminating my path. I felt so humbled to witness this God-sent object in the sky. By faith, as if prodded by the Almighty, I followed the star.


I Saw Him


I saw Mary and Joseph as they completed their journey. They entered Bethlehem. My faith walk worked. I am pretty sure they didn’t see me. I would never embarrass them by introducing myself. I can’t compete with shepherds and wise men or angels.


From the shadows, I also saw Him. A baby held in the arms of the blessed Virgin. This is the Baby born to be The King. I fell to my knees and, from a feeling deep within me, I cried. He has come!


From the shadows,

I now dance and sing,

For in God’s mercy,

I see The King.


Now I see Him. He is the only One who loved me before the foundation of the world. One day, when I walk out from the shadows and not as afraid of people, I hope He touches me. His touch of love is all I need.


Everyone else may run from me. I am more than familiar with people who throw stones. They laugh when their stones break my skin. Hugs from friends are foreign to me. Darkness is my only embrace.


I know He will not chase me away. He came for the unlovely, of whom I am one.


His touch is all I need,

then I will be freed.

        Only this,

The Saviour’s kiss.



A Personal Reflection


My words wept as I wrote this post. In reflecting on this special time of year, my thoughts drove me to the condition of people today. I hesitate even now to write the concluding part of my last message of 2021.


The life of a person shunned by other people is lonely. Their lives result from bigotry, fear, or some other trait of darkened hearts. They may live in the shadows of life hidden from “pretty people,” those accepted by society.


My heart is heavy in the knowledge Canada has created its own “lepers.” A class of Canadian citizens shunned even by the politicians they elected and other loud voices. In this time in our collective history, all too prone to a trail of negative narratives, we need The King.


Even so come, Lord Jesus!



Alan lives in Deroche, B.C. with his wife, Terry. He is one of the spiritual advisors for InScribe. Alan contributed stories to Good Grief People by Angel Hope Publishing, 2017; Story by Story: The Power of a Writer, Unstoppable Writers Publishing, 2018. Alan has written articles for FellowScript Magazine. Blog:

He has written posts for our InScribe blog since 2015.


  1. Deeply touching post, dear Alan. The longer I live, the longer the list of "lepers" I become aware of. I'm so glad Jesus loves the least of us as dearly as He does. The Christ Child offers hope to the lost and lonely. How can we help but adore Him since there's a bit of leper in each of us.

    Those who have suffered the most love Him all the more because He doesn't shun their touch.

    Christmas Blessings ~ Wendy Mac

    1. I wasn't sure how this post would be received. Thank you for your comments, Wendy. Christmas blessings to you and you family as well

  2. Thank you for such a touching POV and for sharing your heart. We can take comfort in knowing God sees and knows all. Nothing takes Him by surprise and what the devil means for harm, God can and will use for His Kingdom. Christmas blessings to you and Terry!

    1. Hi Tracy! Indeed we can rest in the comfort of God. He is literally our only hope. Blessings of the Christmas season to you and your family, Tracy.

  3. Alan, I perceive in your poignant post, a heart sensitive to the plight of the "lepers" who so often go unseen and whose needs go unmet. A writer like you can be a voice for these ones for whom Christ died. May your Christmas be meditative and meaningful.

    1. Hello Valerie. As a writer I hope I always write life like I see it. I'm not interested in buying into narratives common these days. The narrative many people buy into these days encouraged even by so-called leaders miss the mark of true compassion found only in Jesus. I reject it for the divisiveness it breeds. I don't follow the attitudes so many have adopted through this time of pandemic overload. Blessings my friend. May you be captured by the love of Christmas season.

  4. What a tender story, Alan. We usually focus on the main characters for the Nativity story, but you illustrated beautifully how much the ordinary and disadvantaged were searching and hoping for the Messiah. I appreciated how you wrote, "I always write life like I see it," with a caring heart.

    1. Hi Sandi. I guess I am somewhat out of the box. I wanted to respect our theme yet couldn't get the least of these out of my head. The shepherds, angels, and wise men played a wonderful role in the Lord's birth. My mind gravitated to a conjecture of what someone in the shadows might have experienced at this miraculous time. Thank you for your encouragement.

  5. "These are words people use to disembowel me as a person." That line cut to the quick. Thank you for this post, Alan. You are one who truly sees the least of these.

    1. Hi Joy! I always look forward to your comments. Thank you for taking the time. Blessings of Christmas to you and your family. :)

  6. Thanks, Alan, for including in your story a person who walks in the shadows and sleeps during the day, so he won’t be seen. In all ages of history, we've had “invisible people,” the ones who walk in the shadows and avoid being seen. God loves them too. And Jesus acknowledged them as he walked our earthly roads. Thank you for your story.

    1. Hi Sharon! Thank you for your acknowledgement of "invisible people." I appreciate your thoughts here.


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