I was beginning to question my belief? A series of events caused doubt and I knew the outcome of this mind-struggle could rock my world. I remember talking to my father and mother about it. Their wisdom had always been valued. They also grew up in a home that believed and had once struggled themselves. I remember the night that eliminated all questions in my mind. My dad tapped me on the shoulder while I was sleeping and I opened my eyes to see his finger over his lips, suggesting that I stay quiet. I sensed something; like maybe a spirit. This feeling was of something kind; full of joy; and….. was that a ho-ho-ho I heard?
Santa was in our living room. He was real. I had no doubt from that point on. I don’t know how he got there or how he left, but my 6 year old eyes saw him late that Christmas Eve, and that was good enough for me.
The lore of a fictitious character that comes down all the chimneys in the world in one night, with gifts, and rides in a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer is pretty cool. It is fun for kids to believe in that. It is amazing that they actually buy it. But I long for my family to experience more. And I am not simply talking about the story of baby Jesus being born in a manger with shepherds and wise-men in awe, and a king who wanted to kill him and so on. I am talking about me nudging them to wake them up, and showing them God actually at work in my life and the lives of others. Real work. Miracles. Like sustaining a family with cancer who could have lost hope but instead found more joy and hope than they knew was possible. Like the new birth of a broken and lost man, and watching that new spiritual life grow. Like financial provision (a job) for a family who was at the end of their financial rope. Like watching someone die well. Like hearing the voice of God speak clearly into their life.
These are some of the miracles of Christ this Christmas. I love hearing real-life stories way more than the Santa story (even though the Santa story is pretty cool too). Merry CHRISTmas!