Friday, November 18, 2011

Here Comes Santa Claus

An unnamed little boy is playing the track over and over again. Jackson 5's Santa Claus is Coming to Town is blaring through the speakers accompanied by the boy who is belting it out with equal gusto. This same soloist when asked last year what he thought about Santa Claus replied, "He's the guy that wears the red suit and flies around and goes down chimneys."

"Do you think Santa is real?"

"No, that's ridiculous!"

We seriously couldn't convince him if we wanted to! I have to admit I was somewhat relieved. It always felt a little strange trying to explain that Jesus is real, and then in the next breath saying that Santa is real too. Although, now I was worried that he would be the scroogiest little boy around and that I would be the bad mother who made him that way. Like when a sweet little lady asked him what Santa brought him for Christmas. She was caught off guard by the then 3 year old's reply. "Santa's not real!" The incredulous three year old's look implied, "You're old and you should know better." Meanwhile I'm frantically whispering to him, "It's ok to pretend!!"

I don't mean to trash Santa, because I remember being pretty excited about him as a kid, and it is fun to pretend. I do wonder though. Are we a little ridiculous in our Santa obsession in North America?

The other day I was chatting with my hairdresser about Santa Claus. (Don't ask me how that came up.) I had said that I thought St. Nicholas was a real man in history who gave gifts to poor people. "Ya, and then the story evolved and we took it a little far," she laughed.

She may be right. After all we did put him in a red suit and made him fly.

So this year we asked our two year old what he thought about Santa. He shrugged his shoulders and replied, "I don't know." Then he went back to eating his supper. He seriously doesn't care about Santa.

Maybe this year we will teach them about Saint Nicholas. He seems like someone worthy to be remembered.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

For My Weary Friends

This Spurgeon reading was a balm to my soul this morning. It seems that so many dear friends and family are going through difficult things right now. I also have felt some discouragement this morning as I plunge into the world of overdue babies and potential inducements and complications. In the "midnight of adversity" it is so difficult to remember God's faithfulness. I forget that seasons of day and night are the norm until 'we reach the land of which it is written, "there is no night there."' It's worth taking five minutes to read because Spurgeon says it so well.

He offers four beautiful remedies for the soul in a season of darkness:
  • Learn first to be content with this divine order, and be willing, with Job, to receive evil from the hand of the Lord as well as good.
  • Study next, to make the outgoings of the morning and the evening to rejoice. Praise the Lord for the sun of joy when it rises, and for the gloom of evening as it falls. There is beauty both in sunrise and sunset;...
  • Believe that the night is as useful as the day. The dews of grace fall heavily in the night of sorrow.
  • Continue thy service under all changes. If in the day thy watchword be labour, at night exchange it for watch. Every hour has its duty, do thou continue in thy calling as the Lord’s servant until he shall suddenly appear in his glory.
Thankfulness in adversity is a feeling that needs to be cultivated. It does not come naturally. How blind we are sometimes to see the beauty in the night, and yet Christ is there if we open our eyes to see Him. His steadfast love and strong arm surround and uphold His own. He never abandons them.

The dews of grace fall heavily in the night of sorrow.

What waste is achieved by despair and escapism. What wealth could be gained by soaking in the dews of grace. To know and see Him in all his beauty and loveliness. Is this not worth the night?