Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Answers to Unspoken Prayers

Ethan and Mahira

I miss Christmas.

I don't know what I was thinking when I agreed to be away from home on the holidays.

No problem, I thought. Our far-flung families commonly celebrate this exciting time without us. So it's often just us. And we don't make a fuss for just us. Much of our fuss is church related. We go to church and celebrate the birth of Jesus, who is the center of our lives.

I didn't realize until today that the other stuff we do at Christmas rounds out my heart. We visit with friends, break bread together, play games.  I miss being a part of that friendship fold. 

I feel so alone.  I'm here at the beach, in the warmth of Padre Island National Seashore. And I am lonely.

And then there's a knock at our motorhome door.

"Hello? Is this a good time to drop by?"

The greeting is from a family we just met. Our RVs are similar, so they've stopped by to see how we manage to live inside such a small space. They stay and chat; we chat some more. Their kids, Ethan and Mahira, stay long after their mom and dad leave because, well, we're busy, playing iPad games, talking about books, exchanging life stories.

Then Joan stops in. We've just met Joan. She's 80 years old and traveling across country in a pick-up truck towing a trailer by herself (well, she has two dogs.)

She's stopped by for cocktails. And because we don't drink, she's brought her own as well as a tray of cheese and crackers. 

It's now crowded inside our little RV. But no one notices. Because we're laughing, playing games, nibbling on h'ors deuvers. It's (almost) like a family get-together, celebrating Christmas.

I'll be so bold as to say Jesus felt my heart breaking and brought good people to surround me, to help me heal. And the ones he chose were a family of Jews and an elderly agnostic. 

They came to me on Christmas, extending the gift of friendship. Thank you. Thank you.

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