Well, we knew the day would come sooner rather than later and it happened a few nights ago. We had “the talk” about Santa Claus with our second daughter.
She came bounding into our bedroom after bath, curled up next her father and asked, “So, Daddy, is Santa Claus real?” Initially, her dad questioned why she was asking. “Well, you know, several kids were talking about this at school.” Her Dad turned the question around asked her if she thought Santa Claus was real. She replied, “Well I think so . . . but I have some significant questions.” She then headed off to bed.
After consultation with me, Joe and I decided that the time had come. We called her back to our bedroom and explained to her that, indeed, the idea of Santa Claus is real, but only in our hearts. We explained some things about the history of the character of Santa Claus (click here for a great overview). We then invited her to join us in sharing the magic and wonder of Christmas with her brothers and everyone else who still believes. She thought for a few moments, and then her face lit up with excitement. She turned to us and exclaimed, “So, does this is mean I can now move the Elf?”
How cool! She immediately got it and realized that she could be part of sharing the joy, excitement and wonder of Christmas with her brothers. Sure enough, the next morning, the Elf was hanging precariously from a chandelier in the kitchen. I still have no idea how she got that Elf up there, but she did it. The boys were delighted when they came into the kitchen and seeing her face watching them discover the mischievous Elf was pure joy as well.
I started thinking a lot about wonderment and how we often miss the moments of wonder in our daily lives. On Friday, I walked over to Founders Hall in Uptown Charlotte to run a quick errand. There, every year at Christmas, there is a large display of singing Berenstain Bears. Yes, the same ones from the children’s book series. As the mother of 4 children who grew up in Charlotte, I have seen the bears no less than 50 times with various preschool and school trips. If you have not experienced them, you definitely should do so . . . at least once! In my haste to complete my errand, I was trying to ignore the bears, but a small toddler caught my attention with her squeals of joy and delight. I just stopped and watched her dance with giddiness and glee. She was truly mesmerized in wonder watching those mechanical bears. It was precious!
I came home Friday afternoon, and my son met me at the door, so excited to tell me all about his science lesson for the day. He had been learning about hearing and how all those parts in the ear work together to catch sound waves and allow us to hear sounds and music. He was showing me diagrams and pictures of different sound waves and all the parts of the ear. He was truly fascinated and amazed!
As a physician, I'm reminded of how fearfully and wonderfully we're made every single day. Sometimes that reminder comes through a healing. Sometimes it comes through unexpected illness. Today, however, it was through unexpected Grace. A patient came in for a routine blood pressure and cholesterol check. The nurse roomed the patient and took the history, and I walked in to what I thought would be a simple visit. Instead, I walked in to find a woman profoundly sad and burdened with life. Through the Holy Spirit’s leading, instead of asking about her diet and exercise habits, I asked her about her life and discovered she was having thoughts of wanting to end it all and leave this world. She was suicidal. In the matter of an hour, using an incredible virtual intervention platform we have available in our office, we were able to connect her with the help she needed, both physically and emotionally. As the patient left, she gave me a hug and said we had saved her life. Wow! That's wonderment. Only the God of the universe can make those kinds of changes. God had saved her life; we were just at the right place at the right time to listen to His prompting to intervene.
The Scriptures remind us to be utterly amazed and see how He is working around us. "Look at the nations and watch - and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told." (Habakkuk 1:5) We should be astounded with wonder as He astounded His people Israel. "Therefore, once more I will astound these people with wonder upon wonder; the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish." (Isaiah 29:4) Sometimes, we need to open our eyes and just see the wonder around us. God is still creating wonder in our midst. We are just too busy or preoccupied to see it.
May you be reminded of the wonder of this holiday season, through the joy of a child’s face on Santa’s lap, through the laughter of family and friends gathering, or through the quiet stillness of God voice in your life. May we all be described by the passage in Luke 5:26:
Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, "We have seen remarkable things today."
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I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!