As I sit cocooned in my little corner of Christmas, snow lightly swirling and window glow reflecting…
A friend calls, tells me the padded envelope I so carefully stuffed with her gift, made sure was closed tightly, arrived… empty. As she describes it to me, I can picture her shredding through that yuck of gray matter just in case she’s not seeing it… but nada. Zip.
“Strange, because it doesn’t even look tampered with,” she tells me. “But it is stamped that it was inspected…”
I’d recently mailed four exact packages, stood right there in the post office and packed them under their noses, so now I’m scrambling.
I check with another friend and find out the same thing… somehow she only received a card that I’d addressed and placed within a larger package…not even with a postage stamp!…and never the actual gift. Researching, I discover inspections are now allowed on certain types of mail. That this was carelessness on part of workers who did not re-seal properly.
And… I’m disgruntled. If they’d wanted to check my word, they could have asked me to open it then and there. Then I could have watched them seal it again, tape it up, prevent this.
Into the midst of my grump, perspective tilts just true north enough to lift the fog. In the grand scheme… this… is… nothing.
I remember one time sitting in my fresh new kitchen. Taking joy in the clean beauty of new white paint, gleaming subway tiles. Loving the curve of the moldings I’d helped the carpenter design to top the bead board. Being a bit dissatisfied with one portion that just didn’t lay right and they couldn’t seem to fix. In the middle of that re-design, LIFE interrupted with some genuine crisis heaviness. And left me thinking… what would all this matter if I only had a few more years to live? And finding a refreshed longing that blew cobwebs of unimportance out like a breeze through open windows … I want to be fully alive…
Sometimes life becomes most precious, receives the clarity of a cleansing spring rain, when it brinks with death and loss.
Friendships burst apart unexpectedly. Loved ones die too early. A job ends. Fears rise.
And suddenly, all those trifling spills and burnt cookies I’ve been juggling no longer matter.
Have you ever noticed…when faced with an ending…
God likes to take our chins in His healing hands…lift our eyes to wonder stars only toddlers usually see?
Stumbling, escaping, sliding on ice, he races back through guns popping. Back to the bridge where he’d been about to give up. “Help me Clarence!” he sobs. “I don’t care what happens to me. Just get me back to my wife and kids…”
“I want to live again. Please God. Let me live again!”
Cued upon that prayer, snowflakes tumble, caressingly. A benediction, soothing… restoring.
Still… he doesn’t yet recognize the answer blessing his head, his shoulders, his face.
“Bert – you know me?” he wonderingly fingers his friend’s jacket, like finding a refuge in a desert storm and questioning mirage.
“Your lip’s bleeding, George!” Bert exclaims.
That’s when he reaches for them…
Two things he’d only just a little while ago misread as God turned against him in “answer” to his prayers. Now transformed into…a sign of life flowing from his lip. Tiny evidence in his pocketful of miracles… Zuzu’s petals.
Subtle… a hint. But these petals seem in that moment to sing of LIFE renewed.
Exuberant wonder zips through him like lightning. Washing everything that had appeared grimy and disappointing and lifeless only an hour ago and transforming ordinary into glory and treasure.
He whirls, races towards home.
So grateful…blessing everyone and everything he sees…
Even his car, back again, smashed against a tree…
The building and loan that felt like his albatross, now a gift…
The lovely film showing at the theater, and all of Bedford Falls, spun clean and bright, sparkling in the Christmas snow…free from becoming tainted as Pottersville…
Even stopping to bang on Potter’s window… bless him with words of joy…
“Merry Christmas!” he shouts.
“Merry Christmas, George!” the town calls back.
His rickety, drafty old home chameleons to regal as he bursts in… “I could eat you up!” he delights in his children… “Mary, are you real?” he rejoices in her embrace.
Before he even knows how God has taken care of all…paid off his debt… praise erupts within him to bestow this refreshed life.
Making me think how in our own lives, this year has ended with some national and world tragedies that leave many of us looking on despondent. Maybe battling some personal fears too. Raging out to God against the darkness. Losing light. Standing on an empty bridge.
Sometimes it seems inevitable to just… let the darkness shroud.
Forgetting that He has paid our debt too.
The gift that makes all else pale…
So that on this day that opens into a new year, I wonder…might we turn to Heaven with George’s prayer?
Lord, I want to live again. Please God. Help me live again.
I read a December 31 devotion yesterday that left me shaking my head. “We don’t know what storms lie ahead–” it proclaimed. Making me stop mid-sentence, close the book.
That’s an expectancy for trouble, came the whisper to my soul. I want you to look for my LIGHT. I want to fill you with the adventurous wonder of a child, make you want to LIVE again…
And so…I’m looking in my pockets today. Past the fears that waggle like Potter’s lies.
Might I find some of Zuzu’s petals there? Something that seems broken…but in the hands of THE POTTER is reclaimed, reshaped, reformed…So, from my upturned hands, He alone can graft the fallen bits of life back into the Rose? Like we see Him do in George?
What might He have placed in your pocket right now, what promise of Hope waiting to breeze in an open door and frolic down the corridors of your 2013?
Fresh-fallen snow dusting your world with pink dawn glow.
A bleeding lip… a falling blossom…
A Zuzu’s petal Christmas ringing bells of His anointing on a new year.
Light for your eyes to find and rejoice in looking for life and counting simple blessings waiting there.
An open gate to enter the new year with a heart of praise for His Triumphant Goodness.
Because He lives and breathes and moves there… in the very midst of our thanksgiving.
The scene ahead, like these my first foray into posting digital photos :), may be a bit fuzzy. But He holds out His lantern ablaze and bids us come. To “come in and know Him better.” To LIVE again.
© Pam Depoyan
May you find a pocketful of miracles today!
Petals soft, little promises of hope for your new year!
“Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.
~ Isaiah 60:1