Wednesday, December 10, 2014
You’ve Got Mail
By Micky Wolf
For many of us, this is a fun time of the year to go to the mail box or answer the door. Among other things, the convenience of shopping on the Internet and finding that special gift for our loved ones and friends is a much less challenging process. In a matter of a couple of days our carefully chosen purchases arrive.
Then there’s the other side of the coin. The little envelopes that show up alongside the goodies, the ones I tease my mailman about keeping. The bills. Yep. Apart from those, there are usually a few advertisements for various and sundry gadgets to cure whatever ails the body, mind or soul, here, or in the afterlife.
And yet here’s the part I find interesting—God’s idea of messages and messengers bears a certain resemblance to the how and what shows up for us, regardless of the season or celebration.
The fun stuff…
As mailing costs have continued to increase, there’s a special joy in receiving a hand-written greeting card or note these days. You know the sender not only took the time to find the appropriate message, they also plucked down some significant change for the stamp.
As well, the Divine makes sure we are surprised and delighted, if we are open to His mysterious ways. A brilliant orange sun hanging in the sky greets us as we go about our errands. A few scattered flakes of fresh snow glide past our face, daring to touch a rosy cheek with their cool, melted droplets.
The phone rings and a friend calls to say they were thinking about you and hoping all was well.
The fun stuff. The good news kind of stuff. Those moments that can reframe a difficult day into one of peace and hope in an instant.
The not-so-much-fun stuff…
And then, like those bills that show up to remind us to “render unto Caesar” what is necessary to maintain the services and utilities that keep our home in order or to remind us to pay for our recent purchases, there are the messages we would just as soon passed us by.
The report from the doctor’s office with test results stating we need to make healthier choices and lifestyle changes. Or, in another instance, the tearful child rushing through the door, frustrated and hurt because they were pinned into a dark corner of a hallway by the class bully.
The messages—and sometimes the messengers God uses to deliver the message of the Good News—can seem anything but pleasant. Whether struggling to make ends meet financially, cling to the tiniest ray of hope that a loved one (or ourselves) will be healed, or wondering how we will endure another day working for a boss who’s’ every breath drips with sarcasm, it may be all we can manage to take the next tiniest step.
It’s all gift…
It likely takes a lifetime of perseverance and learning to trust God in seeing His hand at work in all the circumstances and experiences of life, the ways in which He hopes to get our attention and speak to our hearts.
This could not be truer than the hours and days of our journey through the season of Advent. Children, full of anticipation and excitement, dart about with glee as they wish away the moments until the big day. And so it should be. Let us not rob them of those precious, innocent years of seeing Christmas as a time to celebrate a special birth by tearing open shiny packages amidst squeals of laughter.
Soon enough, each of us will need to embrace the rest of the story—the knowledge and painful awareness that sweet, baby Jesus will become a man, the completion of his mission among us to be death upon a Cross.
As our journey continues to unfold, let us gather with family and friends this Christmas and truly savor the fullness of God’s loving message to each of us—the most loving gift we could ever choose to accept and open.
What do I feel when the mail arrives? Fear? Sadness? Joy? Another emotion?
How do I feel about the kind of messages God desires to deliver to my heart?
How do I feel about the messengers God uses to get my attention?