Scene: A feel good moment where a group of women are huddled together and jumping around in circles while laughing and crying with tears of the joy!
Here’s what happened…
Four women, who work very closely together, decided to exchange gifts in the office during the first half of the day. They knew their afternoon schedules were about to divide them, so they ran with haste to pass out their gorgeously garnished gifts. They agreed to open their presents, one gift-giver at a time. That way they could express their gratitude in unison, and the gift-giver could see their reactions altogether. Each opening was accompanied with screams, hugs, and affirmations. But the fourth and final opening welcomed a slightly different response. Instead of individual expressions, the group gathered together for one big hug. That’s when they started giggling and crying while jumping around in circles. Someone said, “Omg we’re totally girlfriends!” Another one said, “I don’t think I’ve ever jumped around like this in my entire life!” They basked in the moment for a minute, shared a few sentiments, then regained their composure to continue the work day as planned.
Pretty typical, right? A group of women getting super excited about gifts is quite normal. But these women shared a beautiful exchange that was much deeper than the contents in their gift bag, and it ranks high as one of the most tender-hearted moments of my life. Why? Because I was somewhat dreading the end of the work week. Friday night meant parting with my children as they leave to spend Christmas with their father. I’m thrilled about having two weeks off, and I’m ready to enjoy some “me time”. I must admit however, that at times, I do long for connection. We all do. When the kids are gone, connecting isn’t always simple. I live far away from my family, and I’m not trying to impose upon those who live within minutes of theirs. Also, these holiday movies on every channel don’t make things any easier. I love them, but they only add to my heart’s hope for a love story and a Christmas miracle.
I don’t have a monopoly on “holiday hearts and hopes” however. My comrades have stories too. Among us lies the unexpected loss of a parent, caring for a parent with cancer, dealing with a child’s brokenness from daddy issues, the stress from auto collisions, health challenges, and a host of uncertainties. Yet, somehow we’re all still fighting for our dreams in the face of reoccurring nightmares. Knowing this made the gift exchange so much sweeter. We were receiving from someone who had every reason not to give, but instead personalized something unique and special for one another.
I reckon that I am experiencing a Christmas love story! I get to work among educators who take breaks from their own woes to attend to the worries of others. My children and I witness this phenomenon every day, and if that’s not love, I don’t know what is.
If there is any perspective I can offer you in this post, let it be that your genuine kindness is the miracle someone is waiting for. Not everyone has somebody waiting for them underneath the mistletoe. Your presence may be the gift they need. So discern those around you. Perhaps your time and treasures can help strengthen your neighbor’s wavering faith. Also make time to appreciate those who have served as God’s strength for you. Now when it’s all said and done, remember to relax and rejoice in the miracle that is…YOU!
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and God Bless!
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