And on top of it all I really wanted to catch a Christmas Devotional being broadcast at 6pm. But right before that we would be just leaving a friend's house in a city we didn't know -- where could we watch it? would the kids hold up, etc?
Well, we made it through the crazy fun day and found a random chapel that was open for the broadcast. We walked in to see only one other man sitting there. We sat ourselves a few pews back and to the side from where he was. A few minutes into the broadcast it became crystal clear sweet H was not going to hold still or be contained to one pew, period. I didn't see the harm in letting her meander a bit. About five minutes in K decided H had the right idea and started doing slow laps around the pews ahead of us. Around this time the man started smiling at K and H whenever they wandered past. Fifteen minutes into the broadcast he had both our children sitting on his lap grinning ear to ear while he gave us a bright smile over his shoulder. For the rest of the broadcast R and I got to actually sit next to each other and listen to most of the messages (I even took comprehensible notes). The kids alternated between circling the chapel and stopping by to get high fives, tickles and the occasional hug from their new friend. There was something so magical about watching how they interacted with him -- or really more how he interacted with them. It was kind of like how I would picture Santa on the off season (no beard). I've never been so in awe. I've never felt so honored to know someone I hadn't actually met. He gave us such a gift with his unfiltered kindness. He taught me such a profound sermon simply through his example. He was a Christmas miracle. And I realized:
A person can be a miracle.
Not help a miracle happen or pray for a miracle but BE a miracle. Just by trying with all our human soul to be like that most amazing miracle who's birth we celebrate soon. Just by trying to live well. Just by being present and kind and centered and, wait for it, VULNERABLE. Because, yes, it takes a certain amount of vulnerability to share kindness and love in this way.
And someday I wan to be that for someone too. So thank you kind man whom I love without knowing. Thank you for helping me feel the deep, amazing, true meaning of Christmas.
Happy December everyone!