Posts Tagged ‘joy’


Can Santa Claus Come to Town … Every Day?

December 26, 2009

Santa: "I hope this isn't that dreaded 'New' Coke"

I love Christmas morning (which, if you know me, is really saying something …  I’m not a morning person … never have been.  In fact, you have to practically stick your foot in my back and kick me out of the bed.  But on Christmas morning, no matter the time, I never give getting up a second thought.  In fact, I look forward to it … maybe as much as my kids).

This morning, my oldest boy, Jack (6), came around the corner and the smile on his face, the tone of his voice, the excitement and the happiness …. absolute joy in its purest form.  “He came!  He came! Oh my gosh! He came!” There wasn’t an ounce of his 50 pounds that wasn’t blissful.  Which, of course, caused me to ponder a couple of really important things.

1) It reminded me what real, true joy looks, feels and sounds like. And made me question the joy I feel in my relationship with Christ.  Am I THAT joyous? And, if not, why? Shouldn’t I be? Was His gift not the equivalent of a set of $12.00 walkie-talkies?

2)  It made me fall even further in love with my boys – which I didn’t know was possible.  Making them this happy should be my objective more often than once or twice a year.

3) It reminded me, perhaps for the first time since last Christmas, how immensely gratifying and fulfilling it is to make someone else really, really happy.

It made me so happy and fulfilled me in such a way, in fact, that I sat several hours later, missing it already … wishing things didn’t have to go back to normal, to hum-drum, to enduring … wishing I could do it all again (well, all of it except the getting up before sunrise and the gift-wrapping).

Then, I realized … I could.  That there was nothing stopping me. I could be Santa every day, if I wanted to.  And, I should.  It wouldn’t have to cost me an arm and a leg, require the in-laws to sleep over or that I provide a receipt.

I could give.  Every day.  To someone.

Whether that requires me going a mile out of my way, or just a cup of coffee, a hot meal, an encouraging word or a few minutes of my time, I could give more than I do.

So, that said, I’m gonna try to recapture that Christmas morning feeling more often this year.

I’m gonna resolve myself to give more than ever.

Much, I know, has been given to me.

(After all He came!  He came! …. right?)



Fruitcake: The Greatest Gift of All

December 18, 2009

I sat down recently to write a letter, vouching for the character of someone I love.  Trying as best I could to explain to a complete and total stranger what a wonderful person she is.  And, it was difficult.  Not because she’s not one of the kindest and sweetest people I know, because she is … but because … well, where’s the proof?  What has she done? What are the works, sacrifices, offerings, etc. that would serve as testimonies to the goodness of her heart?

It doesn’t do much good to offer “she just is … trust me, I know her” as an explanation.   This man is looking for proof of her goodness – and a great many people testifying to it is a statement and a bit of proof in and of itself, I suppose.  That said, I hope a sackful the size of Santa’s shows up on this stranger’s doorstep.  He’s a very, very important person in her life right now, after all … and will have a profound impact on her future very, very soon.

In the meantime, all she can hope for is that she’s made a profound enough impact on the lives of enough people that that bag full of letters shows up.  That, within them, are stories and memories that are convincing.  That show more than a lifetime of the best intentions.   And, I think it will.

All of this brought me to this question … what if it was me?  What if I were dependent upon all of those I count as friends and family to write a letter, vouching for my character? Explaining who it is I am?

Would I, in good conscience, even be  able to ask them for one?  Would I really want to know who they thought I was? Would they have to search their souls, calendars or picture books for hours to recall an example of love and/or goodness? Would they be able to fill a page with anything convincing?

And, to take that one step further, if you’re someone who claims to love Christ, have your actions reflected that love?  That commitment? What kind of sacrifices have you made on His behalf, for others? What kind of things have you done that have had a profound impact on the lives of others?

In Christ’s court, a list of works/deeds – proof of your love, if you will – won’t be required.  He knows your heart.

A stranger on the other hand … ? Well, he doesn’t.  And the only tangible proof of its goodness is what its produced … its fruit (or, this being the holiday season, fruitcake, of course).

Would others have any on hand to send along on your behalf?


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