Monday, December 19, 2016

Dealing With The Holiday Season. Part 2 Holiday Miracles

We need a renaissance of wonder. We need to renew, in our hearts and in our souls, the deathless dream, the eternal poetry, the perennial sense that life is miracle and magic. E. Merrill Root

Life itself is a miracle, and every year we get to renew this truth observing a holiday season with love, peace, joy, fellowship, giving and receiving, and gratitude. Sometimes we lose sight of miracles waiting to happen. But if we answer the true call of the season with open minds and heats, the miracle and magic will be renewed in miraculous ways. This holiday can be anything you want it to be if you make it so.

It's not how much we give but how much love we put into giving. Mother Teresa

For many people, this is a holiday for giving, and stores are filled with shoppers. But gifts come in many forms...packages wrapped with bright colored ribbons; food prepared for celebrations; hugs we share with those we love, or sometimes even strangers; gifts of service to others; the list goes on. But the one ingredient that creates the miracles and magic is love. I remember when a friend had no money to buy me a gift, so she cleaned my house. I will never forget that gift or the precious angel who gave it.

Giving connects 2 people, the giver and the receiver, and this connection gives birth to a new sense of belonging. Deepak Chopra

Recently I approached the grocery store when I heard a song bursting forth from an elderly white-haired man collecting money for the Salvation Army. People gave money and hurried past. But I was drawn to stop and listen. I heard more than a song...I heard love and joy in every note pouring from this man's heart and soul. And as I stood listening while he sang, I felt my whole being touched by this beautiful miracle. We smiled when I put some money in the bucket and thanked him for his blessing. We both gave and received. And I think we felt a connection.

Later in the store checkout line, a mother ahead of me unloaded her buggy while her small child sat in the buggy facing me. Our eyes met, and I smiled and waved to her. She smiled and waved back. I winked at her. And she winked back. We made funny faces at each other and giggled. We played like I was a child too. And this was one of those moments when we both belonged. One of those moments when your heart skips with glee, and you know it's a magic moment, never to be forgotten.

This is a time of year when relationships are especially important. We reach out to the people in our life, and there's usually a gathering of loved ones in someone's home for a celebration together. I join my brother's large family for their pot-luck dinner, and I always take my gelatin cranberry salad. And by the time I spend hours putting this together for 15 or 20 people, I consider it a true miracle.

Not everyone has a home to go to or someone to love. So for a number of years I took some time on holidays helping serve lunch at a shelter for the homeless. At first I expected to see sad, downhearted faces. But most of these people smiled and chatted over plates of hot food. And I saw love in their tired eyes. Their clothes were tattered, and holes in their shoes. But they'd found a place to go and people to love. And for a little while, they had a home and family. For a little while, they were blessed. And so was I. This was a miracle.

Where there is great love, there are always miracles. Willa Cather

Love can be expressed in many ways. Put your love into everything you do, and watch and listen so miracles won't go unnoticed. Smile at strangers, and play with children. If you attend worship services, exchange hugs with others who need hugs as much as you do. And call people by their name. We like being validated. Allow your love to flow into this season, and others will receive the blessing your love carries with it. And you'll find your holiday miracles.

I wish you miracles all year long


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