So it's Christmas Eve and Selah and I run out to Dunkin D's for some goodies for tomorrow. (Munchkins are right up there with tights and kitties in Selah's eyes.) I'm thinking it's going to be a quick trip, but alas, with mad traffic and a closed Dunkin D's, our jaunt out morphs into an hour long venture. Selah's lip is quivering as we leave the empty parking lot and the tears are quickly welling up in her eyes. I am fixed on bringing something - anything yummy - home for tomorrow and I don't care how long I have to wait anywhere. So, we fight our way to Einstein's and wait in a line stretching to the door. Selah maintains her composure in line fairly well, but bemoans our misfortunes to every customer within hearing range. "Dunkin Doughts close, Dunkin Doughts close. No muchkins. No muchkins."
After what probably seemed like a five hour wait to poor Selah, we run out excitedly with our goodies. No munchkins, but yummy looking muffins nevertheless and a coffee to boot- which, I am all too eager to reward myself with for our venture out. (I am trying to get better at these coffee rewards, I really am, but I justify to myself that it's Christmas Eve. I should get myself a coffee... oh, what ridiculous reasoning.)
Anyway, as we once again brave the Cranberry traffic to drive 3 minutes home (which proceeds to take 15), I am stopped at the busiest four way intersection ever. While waiting there, I see a disheveled looking man, holding up a cardboard sign that says, "Will work for Christmas presents. Family of four." I don't know how long he's been there, but from the looks of his face, it has been an eternity. He is dejected and cold and I'm wondering how much longer he can hold up his sign. How much dignity does he have left? After all, Cranberry is not the sort of place that you ever see this. It probably took all of the humility in the world to stand there for hours on end, with everyone too busy or miserable to stop and help the poor guy.
At this point, I am wondering what we can do. I want to invite the guy into our van. However, I'm not sure that it's the safest thing to do and I don't know what we would do with him if we took him home. Then I see a well dressed man (from one of the stores in the plaza) approach this man and begin a conversation. I have no idea what words were spoken, but I watched this employee offer some kind of hope. Not only that, but the employee side hugged him, shook his hand, and gave him the wait sign. This guy whose shoulders were drooping so low all of a sudden stood up straight. He folded up his sign, his own chin began quivering, and he teared up. (He is right next to my car now and I'm probably holding up the procession of people waiting, but I can see tears in this guy's eyes and I don't really care who I'm holding up.) I am watching the beauty of hope extended and I want to beep my horn in delight (though my beeping at this moment may get misconstrued.)
I think it's fair to say that this is what Christmas is all about... giving and receiving love, hope, and something (or shall we say, someone of immeasurable value.) Jesus entered into our poverty to make us rich in Him. He extended love on the cross and it made our lives beautiful. He defeated death and his empty tomb speaks of our hope. I am psyched that I caught a glimpse of beauty today in the midst of our yummy finding exploits. Thank God Dunkin D's was closed so we could be there at that moment.
I pray that each of you reading this would also catch a glimpse of beauty, or maybe even much more than a glimpse in the next few days. Have a wonderful Christmas. All of our love!