During the past twenty-four hours, the level of gentle give and take continues to amaze me. Traditionally, people focus on the tasks at hand, regardless of the others around them. Individuals shrug off gifts that do not fit, those preparing dinners do so at the expense of spending time enjoying a special moment in life that suddenly appears, and dictators honor schedules regardless of heart, motives, or results. This year, I witnessed so many examples of gentle love; I can see and feel the true meaning of Christmas.
In many ways, God's gift kicked off the festivities. I have struggled to fix the speedometer cable in my car. After hours of struggle, I gave up the effort almost two months back, dreading the day I got back to it! Yesterday I took the car out and God gave me a gift; the speedometer works great! The drive went over the top when I foolishly ran out of petrol without a mobile phone, wallet, or money. Cherry answered my pleading call for help with laughter and a smile or two, at my expense of course!
The day continued with surprises at every corner. A neighbor struggling with life dropped a special Christmas present by, a fresh four pound Salmon, asking if we were fish lovers! With love and laughter we assured her that although we did not eat fish at home, we would put the fish to good use!
Presents came in from surprising corners, small gifts of grace, examples of going the extra mile. Humorous cards were the extra touch, bringing an extra smile and moment of grace, when you least expected it.
I often find Christmas confused with the want of things, not this year. In many ways, it is “exactly as preached in Jesus Christ.” (Romans 16.25) People caring for those they know and others who come onto their path, even if just for a few moments. The grandmother reaching out to help a lost child. The smile and holiday wish expressed by one stranger to a new friend. This is Christ alive.