Monday, December 24, 2012

Greater than through love and support: another day and Merry Christmas

I had the most amazing experience this past week. Yes..i got to ride in a fire truck..and in the bucket to boot. That in itself would have constituted "amazing" as it turned me into a 7 year old and I sat resisting the entire time pushing all the buttons as the siren blarred as I..yep, to ride in it for a special cuase! :)

But what was truly amazing about that night...magical even, was that I was playing Santa Claus. While I have done this for adults and for a couple of parties over the years, this time it was for reals. I was, for about 20 kids, running up to greet the truck as we entered into the park for the lighting of the tree, Santa. I saw it in their eyes, I heard it in their voices, and I literally felt it. For a moment, after I arrived, I was overpowered by their anticipation and joy...I literally could feel their glee on seeing Santa...and I just stood and something took over...I gave myself to their joy and for the next hour or so, I was with them. I was with them enjoying all the possibilities and the joy of Santa and it was bliss!

I was not sure exactly what to do as I stood their facing the walk up to Santa's chair, so I knelt down so i could be right with the youngin's and asked how everyone was. They smiled with such glee and I was offered hugs! What unconditional love. It was the very essence of what we know as good. As I rose, I asked if they could help Santa to his chair and they grabbed my hand and as if leading someone royal, they cleared the way and led to the place of honor. Then one by one, they sat and told me what they wanted for Christmas. So thoughtful, so sincere. And they believed. It was in their eyes. I believed too. I believe in the giving and the magic that comes with it and I wanted to bottle that up and live that every minute of everyday...and while i try, I so needed it, more than usual.

It was the next day that the tragedy in newton happened. Still on that day politicians could not set aside their rhetoric and polarization of our economics and continued to debate this cliff, and while there were some that truly mourned the deaths of those children and those staff at the school, I saw more than I care to remember, more posts about the protection of individual gun ownership and heard and saw stories about people lining up to buy them.

The bodies were not buried yet and owning guns were the issue, not those dead children. Then, here in Wilmington a young man, a CFCC student, returning from getting a late night meal was murdered in cold blood on the way back to his car for two 5$ bills, his sandwich and his cell phone. Shot in the head. Dead. Two of the assailants had been in a program that I value and pray for everyday that seeks to serve inner city youth, and one of the youth got on the news, not saying he was sorry, but just trying to say he was not the one who pulled the trigger.

As we learned the calculated, cold, and vicious plans these four had for a night of crime, as they told this story to the was chilling. I felt anger, deep and dark. I felt sorrow and as I looked at these four, I was as close to cuastic and unfeeling as I have ever been. I was afraid. Afraid that all I value, all i work for, all i believe in was and is throwing water in the ocean..that would never be enough. somehow it just was too far gone and there was nothing left to do but follow suit, arm up, protect what was mine and angry...feel that sense of "well I did what I could", wrap it up and move on. And then....then someone was put in my path. An addict. An addict who admitted that he wanted to drink that day.

He shared that he was feeling bad, that he was in a bad place and all he wanted to do was drink. For him, he is psychologically and pysiologically engineered to do just that. But something inside of him wanted to live a different life. Something inside of him wanted to get better....and he made the call and said "I want to drink" and by doing so, he didn't. He stayed sober one more day, went to a meeting, shared and helped others...and in that day, he made a big difference.

For me, he was this clanging of symbols, this truimpet from heaven, reminding me that there are choices and that by being an active part, an active participant in making the next right choice, doing the next right thing...all things are possible. It does not change the does not change the horror..we have to....I have to feel that. I have to acknowledge that.....but dean....I believe and am witness to miracles in my 46 years that I can play in my head and share each and everyday. I am witness to God's grace and love and strength..when we choose it! I am witness to people who actually see the tragedies in our world and instead of reacting in fear and selfishness and self interest, see a greater good...see something that can and will come out of it as a way for us to be better, live those children that gathered in my lap who believe in magic and love and santa live in a world where we are thoughtful and we act for each other...rather than to protect ourselves from each other....
God sent his only begotten Son on this Eve because he loved us so very much...I pray we start to love ourselves a little more each day..
God bless us everyone!
Merry Christmas!

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