Feliz Navidad, story by Doug Bartlett at Spillwords.com
Alice Kotlyarenko

Feliz Navidad

Feliz Navidad

written by: Doug Bartlett


Here I sit behind a line of cars in the sweltering sun of Mexico waiting to return to the United States. Going through customs is just a formality for me as my car is never checked because of my position in the U.S. military. They just wave me through.

I had been running drugs for many years and I had been bulletproof. My I.D. was like a free pass. This was too easy. However, I knew if I got caught it would be twenty years to life and at my age either way was a life sentence.

But this trip was different. It was Christmas Eve in Tijuana and I decided to do something I had never done before. I would go to church on Christmas Eve… That’s right, I would attend a church service. I had only been to church three times in my life but for some reason I felt compelled to go.

I’m glad I did. Some old man who called himself a pastor introduced me to Jesus and told me what Jesus had done for me. That experience changed my life and I decided right then and there I owed it to Jesus to clean up my act. I decided not to pick up the fentanyl on this trip or any other.

Well, I finally got to the front of the line at customs and I flashed them my I.D. I began to leave when they stopped me and began to search the vehicle from top to bottom. I was shocked as this had never happened before.

The officer came over to my car window and asked if I had anything to declare.

“The only thing I have to declare,” I stated, “is the grace of God.”

Doug Bartlett

Doug Bartlett

Doug is retired from two careers, one as a Special Education teacher and the other as a real estate agent. He lives in central California with his wife and they have two daughters. He enjoys playing golf, woodworking, relating the Jewish faith to his Christian faith and life in general (Not necessarily in that order).
Doug Bartlett

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