Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Miracle at Little House

The tree is decorated with ornaments of the past making it unique to us.
I am sure that you have likely heard of the Orson Wells' radio production of The War of the Worlds that aired in the 1930s? It was simply a radio drama featuring H.G. Wells fictional story about Martians invading the United States. Many tuned into this program late and since it was a special production that did not have any commercial breaks, many believed that the reports of the Martian invasion were actually happening and it sent a panic through populations everywhere! Well, a similar sort of thing happened to me. Though I risk being committed to my local hospital's psychiatric ward, I must tell you that just like Scrooge visited by the Ghost of Christmas Past in Dicken's, Christmas Carol, I too experienced quite a miraculous conversion!

The center block, ready to be appliqued to my youngest daughter's duvet cover.
Perhaps I have been going a bit too hard trying to finish two patchwork duvet covers right before Christmas? Getting such a late start on them, I have told myself that it is OK if they are NOT finished by Christmas.The more I worked on them, the more I deluded myself that perhaps I could get them done if I just pushed myself a little harder. I have them in different states of completion, but it was in the middle of this project, working long hours and literally lost in a mire of patchwork that I surfed my TV options looking for a program that would be interesting and entertaining, to keep me to task and found just the one.
Center block pieced and ready for the four-square blocks to be sewn to it.

4-square blocks sewn into strips for daughter #1's cover. Center block above.
It featured a story about an investigation regarding Christmas miracles.  The reporter was none that I knew but seemed intent in following some rather astounding stories that happened to some children that wrote to Santa expressing their deepest wishes and mailed them to a special Letters for Santa Volunteer Program in various areas of the United States. It seemed that this organization was in charge of granting wishes to children through the work of volunteers who would find various resources and "make them happen".

As the investigation proceeded, the reporter was realizing that one man in particular seemed to always be in the vicinity where miraculous sorts of wishes had been fulfilled and her goal was to find this man.

This was easier said than done and her investigation took her to many sites where he had worked as a volunteer and so she included many interviews with people who had known and worked with him. Though all her reports his kindness and generosity were clear to all. In fact, he seemed to be more than an ordinary man. He seemed to know what were in peoples' hearts without them even putting them into words. Unexplained mysteries surrounded this extraordinary philanthropist and his ability to make even the most difficult and seemingly impossible things to happen.

I am a Catholic convert and for many years went on annual religious retreats. These retreats often involved individuals from the entire state that would re-gather each year to visit the Catholic Shrines in Canada.  Good friends were made and every year those that attended would tell some wonderful stories of things that had happened to them and or their friends that were also too strange and bizarre to be fiction. I am a believer that where God is concerned truly anything is possible!!

I told my husband to come and see what I was watching. These reports were very interesting and I thought we were watching some sort of documentary. I started to take notes, as I often forget the essential details when I repeat a story I have seen, making me a less than credible witness. I got so involved in this program that had I not been double checking myself, I would have missed that I needed to rip out two seams sewed in the wrong order.

The program continued with this reporter trying to track down this special person that volunteered all over the United States in this Letters to Santa program. This was just the sort of program that I literally "eat up".  People doing random acts of kindness and the love that was coming back to the volunteers was just as astounding as their acts of kindness. I grew more excited as the program continued and gave a shout out to my husband who had returned to his "man cave" to continue watching the program, as he wanted to get some wiring done on his tech system while he watched it. His response shocked me.  Instead of being astounded and amazed like me, he said, "It IS a very CUTE program!"

"CUTE?" isn't how I would describe this remarkable program. A man who could bi-locate.  There were only a couple of saints that could do that?...And being able to connect with people and their deepest needs! He was indeed more than CUTE!! This man seemed to indeed be some sort of modern-day saint.

My husband wasn't named Thomas by chance.  He is often the biggest skeptic ever, a real live doubting Thomas.  He was just being his skeptical self, I thought, as I continued to watch...

Suddenly the program finale came and along with it, the credits...and then I realized that I had been watching a Christmas fairy tale movie, and it had hooked me completely thinking that it was a real reporter reporting on true life remarkable events.  The laugh was on me, or was it?  Momentarily, I had believed in the magic of Christmas!

Being a Christian, there is no greater story than the scripture story of Jesus' birth. I happened to be a newborn nurse once in my day and just the story of Mary, a Virgin, giving birth to Jesus in a stable or cave is miracle enough!! His significance to me of being a baby savior is quite amazing too; a Lord no less, coming in the humbleness of a simple baby.  What is not to love about this story, and its celebration?

I love the Christmas season, but somehow for the past couple of years, it seems that Christmas has become a "grown-up" event.  No small children believing in Santa at my house, and in fact my daughters have wonderfully turned into real life Santas, surprising us each year with some wonderfully fun gifts!  It is a season of family traditions and a coming together of our family that has grown up and spread out, being only loosely connected, except for the holiday season.  So I wasn't looking for any more miracles than what this holiday already brings.

I am a Christian and Christmas' significance is NOT to be surpassed ever, and each year, I try to focus on the rebirth of Jesus in my heart. But for one short afternoon, I was caught up in believing in yet more miraculous stories that happened around the Christmas season when hearts are open and love is being shared so generously.

Santa came alive again to me!!! Dementia?  Time to be committed?  Absolutely, and isn't it wonderful that I could be a child again and ready to run and tell my children that there really is a Santa!!  Days have passed and I am still chuckling about it, but the "high" hasn't left!! I excitedly told my oldest daughter about that wonderful moment when I believed again, just like I had when I was a young child.  I am now anxious to gather with my daughter's friend's little children, for I have a special bond with them, and my husband, daughter and the friends that I have told or written to about my experience are chuckling about it as well!!...There is a crazy believer in their midst!! And that crazy believer is me!!

Lewis Carroll once wrote in Alice in Wonderland:
   "There is no use trying," said Alice'; "one can't believe impossible things."
   "I dare say you haven't had much practice," said the Queen.  " When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day.  Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."

I believe all adults should practice this!. Impossible things happen everyday.  I call them miracles, and they do exist.  Just the fact that I stumbled on this program when I needed my brain and heart stretched is miracle enough for one day and believing in all the miracles of this season is another. Jesus once said that we need to be as children when we seek God, and I believe that he is right on!  I am wishing that all hearts, young and old alike be stretched this Christmas and that we always might see as children see the many wonders that surround us every day!! May you, my readers, have a truly joyous holiday season!!