Good Will Toward Men

It had become a Christmas tradition in our City. Julius' restaurant would be the location of a free Christmas dinner for the "down and out". Not too far from the Farmers' Market. A popular deli-style European eating spot.

The paper had covered the event a couple of times. Pictures of Julius and friends carrying large trays of steaming turkey, mashed potatoes and dressing. Happy conversation. Pats on the back. Smiling faces of individuals whom the reader might have noticed at park benches or store vestibules at other times of the year.

This seemed to embody the true Christmas spirit. Donations of money for the event were welcomed from the public.

But then came a year when everything changed. A few weeks before Christmas. Police were called to the restauant. Yellow tape stretched all around. A body found inside. Julius. Suicide?

Follow-up reporting was never very clear. Financial problems? Mental illness? And this in a man extending apparently so much good will to others. So many commendable good works. Obvious public approval.

Could it be that although he possessed the Season he did not have the Christ? Just a thought.

(Note: The man has been given a fictitious name. The story is true.)


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