by Sarah Earlene Shere, Hosanna Heralds, ©2022

(Dec. 23, 2022) — [Author’s Note: Stay tuned for Part 5, the conclusion of “The Lamplighter’s Gift” tomorrow, Christmas Eve!]

[Editor’s Note: See the previous parts of this story here.]


With a heavy heart, Phineas lit the fourth candle and closed the glass of the lamp. Looking up at the sick little girl’s window, he watched for a moment as the people inside hurried around the child’s bed, doing all they could for her. The concerned expressions on the faces of the parents, doctor and nurses indicated she had taken a turn for the worse.

Reluctantly, Phineas climbed down his ladder and slowly made his way home. But the bells of a nearby church drew him in their direction. As if in a trance, Phineas heeded their call. Although they refused to carry him through the doors of the brightly lit sanctuary, his feet agreed to let him sit on a bench, across the street, where he could watch the congregation enter the large stone structure.

As the bells drowned out the noise of holiday shoppers and holy worshipers, Phineas was reminded of a poem (put to music) by one of the New World’s poets: “Then pealed the bells more loud and deep: ‘God is not dead, nor doth He sleep; the Wrong shall fail, the Right prevail, with peace on earth, good-will to men.'”

Lifting tear-filled eyes to Heaven, Phineas whispered, “Peace. God, please. Peace.”

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