Merry Christmas, Bud

Yesterday I stopped in at a mall for some cough syrup and a peppermint tea for my daughter. She was stiffing it out at her office although little actual work was being done in the place, with Christmas break so close. Early signs of achy flu and cold with cough were giving her difficulty.

The Tim Horton's Coffee Shop was one of the few remaining smaller old design models. A long line-up. As is my fashion, I found something of interest to start up a conversation with the guy in front of me. He had a very early morning shift and was looking for lunch. Somehow I had turned on a switch. Information just poured out of this young man. The job; the marriage break-up; the access visit with the daughter several days away; the upcoming last minute shop at Wall-Mart; the Timmy's which he has just gotta have at home or at work. He had my undivided attention, and without censure. He liked that.

Once up at the counter, I heard him say "What'll you have Bud? My treat." It seemed very right to accept. He just wanted to give. For him that was Christmas: giving, family, good will, charity, a rest, a legitimate opportunity to open up to complete strangers, and to wish Merry Christmas (no awkwardness in the use of the term). A warm hand-shake, and we were done.

Jesus would be pleased with that kind of exchange in His honour. He looks for it year-round.

And here it is Christmas morning. Wife and daughter are down with the flu and asleep. I am just getting over my bout. Son is choking down the vitamin C to stay healthy. A happy party was celebrated here yesterday with my Mother, on her way home from Brother Scott's Toronto abode. We drove her the final leg to London. She was ready for home, rest and familiar surroundings. It was wonderful to hear all the first-name greetings from friends as we headed down the hall. "Hi Bev. Glad you're back safe and sound, Bev. Bev, you'll be surprised with a delivery of beautiful flowers inside your room." (from the Vize and Shulha families, closest of friends thoughout the years)

Let me say that we must realize that He comes near. In the incarnation, Jesus comes near to our frailties, our joys and sorrows, our humiliations, our successes, our loneliness, fatigue, challenges in growth and learning, our awkward encounters, our temptations, yet all without sin. As the evangelist once said that is year-round shouting good news! Consequently He is our sympathetic, merciful and faithful high priest. Joy to the world!

And now it looks as if, for the first time, the men-folk will be on turkey duty. Nothing to it, right? Riiiggghhhttt.


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