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.”

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