Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus

And in my experience, Virginia IS Santa Claus. Actually, we call her Ginger, but I'm pretty sure her driver's license lists her as Virginia.

If you read my letter to Santa, you might already know that I asked him to bring me Christmas Tree Fiesta dishes. Well, he obviously delivered them to Ginger's house and being the sweet friend that she is, she wrapped them up and made sure they found their way to me.

It was the Sunday after Christmas. We had just come back from a holiday visit out of town while Ginger and her husband were packing up to leave on their own trip, plus she had other family coming over. We didn't have a lot of time, so we drove over to their house and just stood on the sidewalk for a quick visit. She put the beautifully wrapped gift in the back seat of my car.

Scott and I had several places we wanted to go that day. When we left their house we didn't go home, we just set out from there. So, the unopened gift sat in the back seat of the car all day long.

It was dark and late when we finally got home. One of the last places we went that day was the grocery store, so we had all those grocery bags to unload as well as some other things we'd gathered that day, including the gift box from Ginger. Then I had to put the groceries away, tend to the cat, make some phone calls before it got too late, and God only knows what else I busied myself with. I still hadn't opened the gift. And really, that's not like me at all. I usually can't wait to unwrap a gift, or at least peek in the gift bag.

On top of all that we had planned to do that day, it was also the day of my Christmas crash. You know, the big let down after a month of all the extras: extra family visits, extra food, extra choir rehearsals, extra mail, extra boxes and tape, extra programs, extra activities, extra decorations, extra emotions, extra sentiments. And then all of a sudden, boom, it's over. Hurry up and clean up and pack up and straighten up and tighten up and wake up and go back to work.

My crash was not as much physical as it was emotional. I was already over the edge and heading down when I finally got around to opening the box from Ginger that night. I don't think I've ever cried over dishes before, except maybe some broken ones, but these Christmas Tree Fiesta dishes made me cry. They made me cry because they are perfect. Beautifully perfect in more ways than one.

I don't deserve such a sweet friend. When Ginger and I first met at church, she made an extra special effort to become my friend. We did some Bible study and choir things together, then one day she invited me to her house for lunch. That was a couple of years ago. Since then she has become my weekly prayer partner and scripture memory encourager.

Ginger chose me to be her friend. Ginger knew my heart and made the special effort to fill it. Those are things Jesus would do. Ginger has shown and been Jesus to me.

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other. John 15:15-17

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