Reporter Notebook: An inspiring Christmas story unlike any other | Community Spirit
SALISBURY - Joyce Curl is determined not let the ghost of Christmas past haunt her celebration this year.
You may remember that Curl was severely injured in a car crash on Christmas Day last year. It happened on Harrison Road near Jake Alexander Boulevard. The crash was so bad that it took the lives of the two men in the car that struck Curl.
"I felt protected by God's love," Curl told WBTV.
Curl's injuries included both legs broken and two dozen more broken bones. Through surgeries and rehabilitation Curl had to relearn basic tasks like putting on socks and walking.
Now, eleven months later, Curl is walking, and standing tall to tell her story in the annual production of the Living Christmas Tree at First Baptist Church.
On a personal note, I have to say that Joyce Curl is one of the most remarkable women I've ever met. Her strength through adversity is inspiring to anyone who comes into contact with her.
I'm taking part in the Living Christmas Tree this year, as I have for the past twenty years. On Tuesday night during a tech rehearsal I got to hear Joyce tell her story. I've heard it before, have talked to her pretty often, and consider her a good friend. Even so, just hearing her tell the story in her own words and realizing what she has been facing, is pretty amazing.
At one point she talks about how the mother of one of the young men who died in the crash came to visit Curl in the hospital, seeking forgiveness for the actions of her son that led to the crash. Curl was gracious, telling the woman she had no anger against anyone for what happened. Curl says the young man's mother was astonished to hear such a reaction.
The production, which features nearly one hundred singers, live drama, and an orchestra, also includes a few moments for Curl to talk about her experience, and how she has felt comfort and joy from God during her ordeal.
For Curl, it's a liberating way to show her appreciation for God, and for all of those family, friends, and complete strangers who have supported her along the way.
The Living Christmas Tree will be presented Thursday at 7 pm, and Friday night at 8 pm, Saturday and Sunday at 5:30 pm and 8 pm, and Monday night at 8 pm at First Baptist Church in Salisbury.