Christmas

The Day I Saw Jesus in the Pharmacy

Posted by on Dec 28, 2013 in Christmas, Extraordinary Everyday People, His Love | 18 comments

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Last minute shoppers crowded into the messy Christmas aisle of our local pharmacy. Items marked down for quick sale were strategically placed for the busy shoppers darting in and out to grab what they needed.

The aisle had everything from ornaments and lights to holiday slippers and crock pots.

I watched as harried mothers and busy shoppers cruised through, snatching up items to throw into their cart and be on their way. Everyone seemed to be in a hurry – everyone, except one old woman halfway down the aisle.

She was small in size, modestly dressed, and leaned on her pull-cart for support. The cart was also used to hold the oxygen tank she was hooked up to. She didn’t look strong enough or healthy enough to be out shopping by herself. Her wispy grey hair hid most of her face from my view, but her frail body and gentle countenance held my attention. I lingered to watch her.

Every item she picked up seemed precious to her. I watched her examine candles, cheap garland and children’s gifts like they were delicate crystal or valuable jewels.

With each item she placed in her basket came another careful evaluation of what she had already selected. She would rearrange the content again and decide whether or not to make a substitution.

I don’t know how long she’d been in the store before I arrived – but what I witnessed took close to an hour.

When she finally finished, she straightened up and pulled out her wallet. Her eyes shifted back and forth between her selections and the cash. She made her way up to the register.

Apparently I wasn’t the only one who had been watching her.

At the register, the old woman pulled out her cash in one hand and began laboriously unloading her cart with the other. She asked the person at the register to please keep a running total and not go over the amount she was holding in her hand.

Then I saw Jesus. He took on the form of a gentle man, an ordinary man. A man who cared.

He quietly slipped in between the woman and the counter, giving the attendant his credit card. The old woman was so focused on her job of emptying her cart, she missed seeing him.

The gentleman didn’t need recognition. He sweetly stepped aside as the woman finished emptying her basket. Eventually she learned someone had given her a special gift. Her purchase was paid in full. She didn’t jump up and down like a lottery winner, she didn’t even insist on knowing who had done this kind act – she merely clutched her bag of selections and turned in my direction to leave.

With tubes wrapped around her ears and across her nose, her dim eyes released a tear as it made its way down her wrinkled cheek and our eyes met. Mine were damp too.

We both knew we had witnessed Christmas in the rawest form. We had seen Jesus.

“Then Jesus said, I’m telling you the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.’ Matthew 25:40

I saw Jesus in the face of the generous gentleman – I also saw Jesus in the face of the old woman who graciously received the gift he gave her.

May we all be as generous to give and to receive this Christmas! I can’t wait for an opportunity to stand in the aisle of the pharmacy again – I just know it’ll be my turn to be Jesus on one end or the other.

 

 

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My Prayer for Us

Posted by on Dec 21, 2013 in Christmas, Love, Prayer | 24 comments

star cross

 

 

The older I get the more precious my family and friends become to me. I am grateful for each one of you – seriously grateful.

Like the little drummer boy, I don’t have much to offer, but what I bring today comes straight from my heart.

Please allow me to pray for us as you listen to the song, O’ Holy Night. It’s a small gift, but as I labored to put it together – many of your faces came to mind leaving a large and wonderful lump in my throat. I appreciate your kindness to me – your patience with me and your faithful friendship. I pray God’s blessing on each of us as we do life together.

My ordinary life is filled with wonder – thanks to people like you. God bless you.

Merry Christmas!

 

 

 

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When B.C. Meets A.D.

Posted by on Dec 14, 2013 in Christmas, God Speaks | 6 comments

BC and AD photo

 

Christmastime is a blaring reminder of an actual date on our historical calendar when B.C met A.D. All other events are stacked on either side of that one significant moment in time. Jesus was born. No matter what we choose to believe about him or ascribe to him – his birth remains a pivotal marker on the world calendar.

We also each possess a personal calendar on which to place those same markers. During our lifetime we can choose to add our own transitional moment when B.C. becomes A.D. Our “anno Domini” meaning “year of the Lord” follows an entrance by Christ to our timeline. It begins when Jesus is born into our soul.

For me, B.C. met A.D. my first year in college. Before that day I was living in the ‘year of Pat’. I made my own decisions, my own mistakes and was living on a self-serving trajectory. It was an empty existence filled with aimless wandering.

A church didn’t place the A.D. date on my personal calendar. Neither did a priest or pastor. My moment involved the same miracle as the global application did. By God’s mysterious and sacred design, the Holy Spirit descended and covered my life story – paving the way for his entrance.

Shepherds and Wisemen weren’t there, no one was – just me in my bed and an open heart to receive.

The A.D. portion of my calendar is still unfolding. The ‘year of the Lord’ reflected in my life events have been marked with decisions and mistakes, just like my B.C. years, but the trajectory is entirely different. By the power of the Holy Spirit and through the birth of Jesus into my soul – I now live to know and love him.

The invitation to add the A.D. date to our line of history will go beyond this present life. With it comes a new residency and citizenship into his eternal Kingdom – what a marvelous mystery.

When B.C. meets A.D. heaven moves to earth and a welcome mat is placed at the door to new life – eternal life in his kingdom.

“For with you is the fountain of life. In your light, we see your light” Psalm 36:9

 

It was a glorious day when heaven touched earth,

a day of wonder, a sacred occasion

forever opening a door.

Subtle splendor spilled from unseen places

imprinting our world,

our calendar,

our lives

as B.C. moved over and a gift was born.

May God shine his bright light upon your personal timeline this Christmas!

 

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Christmas Crowds

Posted by on Dec 5, 2013 in Christmas, Extraordinary Everyday People | 12 comments

people vs masses

 

People Watching has always been a favorite pastime of mine. Even back in high school my boyfriend and I routinely scheduled date nights to do just that – watch people. Of course at the time, the art of people watching also included a lot of sarcasm. To us, the material demanded it.

As we watched people parade by we critiqued their clothing, their hair, their size – everything. And everything was open to our cynical evaluation.

I still love to watch people but time has matured me beyond thinking they’re here for my amusement. While watching people for entertainment might be inappropriate – to not see them at all – seems tragic.

The Christmas season brings people out in droves. Our malls and highways become jammed with holiday shoppers and revelers. It’s easy to look out at crowds of people and see one combined mass, rather than individuals. But when people are viewed as a group, their faces tend to fade away. And nameless, faceless individuals are often those who become disregarded and undervalued.

The art of appropriate and respectful people watching was beautifully modeled by Christ. He had an eagle eye for the person buried in the crowd. He bothered to notice them – to see their faces and know their names.

A large mob of people can be transformed into individuals of worth when we take time to truly look into a person’s face. It causes us to remember we’re all alike. Each one of us share a common, humble beginning as helpless babies. We were each born into the same harsh world. And we are each here by design.

The mystery of the face is one of the most intriguing maps on the planet – and worthy of exploration.

More importantly, every person has value to God. And every person – no matter how annoying they might be, or different, or even humorous – should also have worth to us, simply because God values them.

Won’t you join me in asking God to give us his heart for people this Christmas?

Bother to know the name of someone you frequently see in the marketplace. Ask God to give you boldness to do something extravagant as you interact with people this year. When was the last time you simply let people move ahead of you in one of those long annoying lines? Why not look someone in the eyes and pray a blessing over them this Christmas. People matter, after all, they are us.

As you demonstrate the heart of Jesus this Christmas, ask him to lead you to individuals hidden within the masses. Seek, find and love one person at a time.

I’m fairly certain our Heavenly Father is people watching too.

 

(Please visit the the Comment Box and share your thoughts too)

 

 

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