Christmas Spoiler Alert!!! (Don't let children under the age of 12 read this!)
After the hullabaloo of the season was over, but before we had gone to the show, Colleen came into the dining room and timidly asked, "I saw a credit card number on the concert ticket. Mama, is there really a Santa Claus?" How I wanted to run and hide or crawl into a hole. This was the parental moment I had been dreading for years and had truly hoped would come much later. Unfortunately, there was no way out so when she heard the truth, she literally fell onto my lap and sobbed for the better part of a half hour. Finally, after much talking, reasoning, explaining and apologizing, I got her pulled together and slightly cheered. When I thought she was settled into another activity, I escaped to my room to pull myself together. No sooner had I sunk down onto the floor, leaning against the door but there was a knock. I opened it to a confused and anxious looking daughter. She burst out, "Does this mean there's no Easter Bunny or Tooth Fairy either?????" I just looked at her and said, "Oh, Colleen" whereby she started to wail and gnash her teeth all over again.
We laugh now when we tell this story and she chuckles along with me at the reasoning and logic it took to connect all of the dots. Still when I think of this moment in Colleen's development, it is with sweet sorrow and deep compassion. Oh, the heartbreak of finding it all out at once. It was a necessary milestone in her maturity but it dashed a belief she had held for her whole life. How unsettling that must have been.
I'm so grateful to know that our deeper belief systems do not have to end in this kind of uproar. Although we are constantly being thrown curve balls in life, and we may even begin to doubt the purpose of the discord, we can at least be assured that God's hand is at work behind the scenes. He delivers gifts of a different kind and is actually supernaturally capable of being all over the world in less than a single night's time. He flies, not in a sleigh, but on the wings of the Holy Spirit, carrying presents for each of us...the gift of each other, the gift of laughter, the gift of pure, unadulterated joy, the gift of Himself. So as we wait in hopeful anticipation for His coming this Christmas season, we can be comforted in the knowledge that we never have to ask the question, "Is He real?" We can feel the answer in every moment of our lives.