Last night I watched a young woman standing at a parking lot exit near Trader Joe’s with two children in tow, one in a stroller and the other about six I think. Her sign said that she had lost her job and, ‘Please, can you help us?’ She lifted her hand in a shy wave held close to her body as people passed by. This gesture and her sweet smile expressed her vulnerability and somehow made her beautiful, in a glowing kind of way, similar to the saints painted by medieval artists.
My son was coming to pick me up after an MRI and I had walked a bit to loosen up my cramped body. It was cold and the parking lot was packed with lots of people like you and me coming and going, preparing for holiday celebrations. I saw one woman stop and give the young mother a bag of groceries, hug her, whisper a blessing and kiss her on the cheek. Others handed her money out the window, like my son, who was generous, also.
As we drove away, I burst into tears. He looked over: “Mom?” My tears were for this sweet woman whose faith in humankind is not shaken, but also because I know there are so many others like her in our country, finding themselves in difficult circumstances a few days before Christmas. If you’ve never suddenly lost a job, you cannot know the terror that strikes in your chest at the thought of being homeless with your children.
This season of brotherly love always brings out the best in us. Though we do not yet grasp the true significance of a god-being choosing to become human to help us, the seasonal spirit of holiness touches our hearts and minds and we are better people for a period. Thank you for the help you give, for the difference you make.
I believe that someday we will understand that the darkness we see in the world is a reflection of the war going on in the invisible world–a war for control of us free-willed beings–and that without the birth of the god-man we call Jesus Christ, we’d really be in trouble. Not that there is not enough trouble anyway, but without His essence within us and our world, the dark forces of war, greed, terror and division would definitely pull ahead in a race against time for our souls and the life of our planet.
Perhaps in the coming year, more of the veil over our eyes will lift and we will see there is a great big battle going on, kind of like in the Star Wars movies, over who is in charge on our planet and whether or not we will be ruled by stone-cold, dark-hearted beings or by the being who created us with light and whose mark is Love.
Perhaps, also, we will remember that we are God’s heart, God’s eyes, God’s hands and God’s feet, and that we each must do our part in the unfolding drama of God’s Great Loving Plan. It’s time to wake up. It’s time to grow beyond our attachments to the things of the material world and make a difference, now.