Christmas Memory: Las Cruces, New Mexico

December 21, 1993
Las Cruces, New Mexico

Driving over the Sierra Caballo Mountains, the night surrounds us, hiding the daytime colors of the southwest.  We are tired, knowing we have days of travel ahead and hoping that by a miracle we will reach home back east on Christmas Eve.

Suddenly we are over the top, on a downward run to the Rio Grande valley, and there below us we see the hand of God.  Like scattered diamonds in the valley, thousands and thousands of tiny twinkling white lights of Las Cruces. Not the bright lights of a city back east, beaming strong, unwavering light into the darkness.  This is a magical twinkling, the desert’s own Christmas tree.

We are surrounded by a peaceful quiet as we descend into the diamonds, mesmerized into silence.   Maybe we will not be home for Christmas Eve, but here in the mountains of the desert southwest, we have just witnessed a magical Christmas Eve–unforgettable, indescribable, transcendent– the miracle of God touching His hand upon the earth.

Photo by R. Craig Walker
Socorro, New Mexico