I had four weeks to prepare and yet there I was, walking downtown at the last minute on Christmas Eve day to get one last gift for my wife. A charm for her charm bracelet.
It had rained the night before. The rain mixed with the snow on the ground and created puddles of slush that I jumped over successfully until I landed in the one I wasn’t able navigate around. I had four weeks to prepare and there I was, with wet feet and soggy socks, heading downtown to buy that one last gift for my wife.
I reached the town green and for some reason it was crowded. The crowd bustled and shuffled along. Big steps then littles ones. Shoulders ran into shoulders. People buzzed along, looking more at the tasks they needed to complete than what was in front of them. In order to avoid one person I sidestepped and ended up bumping into another. I had four weeks to prepare and yet there I was, walking downtown with wet shoes and a sore shoulder saying sorry to the man I bumped into. He grumbled some guttural mumble. It seemed the joy of the Advent season on that day would be a gift left unopened until Christmas morning.
I crossed the green and made my way to the jewelry shop to buy that last minute bauble for my wife and then before I reached the door of the store, I saw them. A man and his daughter glided through the crowds, unimpeded by those around them. They walked smoothly and with grace towards a restaurant for what could have been a late lunch or appetizers before dinner. They smiled and spoke to each other. Her right arm ringed around his left arm bent at the elbow. They were alone in the world together sharing a story, perhaps a memory of some Christmas past. As I got closer to the store that sold that one last gift that I was to buy my wife, they passed me by. And quickly then, they vanished into that restaurant.
Two people alone together unbothered by the hubbub around them. Two people in a storm of last minute madness, were perfectly calm as they shared their story and their love. And as they passed me by and as I continued on my way with my damp shoes and sore shoulder, I reflected on that instant of calm and entered into the shop to buy my wife that last minute gift, unhurried.
As this season progresses, we must remember to seek out the calm that resides within the chaos and the crowds. The calm reminds us we are loved. The calm reminds us to look away from the clutter and look instead toward God. In the calm we can make space for the holy. Amidst the rush of the season, we can pause to remember our Lord. Amidst the mayhem, we can find renewal.
Post by Matt Handi