One Grey November Day

“Oh, look, I found this beautiful flower just for you.”

Small steps halted as she bent down to cradle the brown leaf resting on the sidewalk and extend her gift to me.

“This is the most beautiful flower, isn’t it?”

“It is, indeed. Thank you for your sweet gift.”

Her 5-year-old feet skipped ahead with occasional stops to stamp rain puddles.

When we returned to the house she asked if I still had my “flower.”

“Of course. Let’s go find a special place for it.” I looked in the cabinet and found a small crystal vase that would hold the crunchy leaf.

Once placed with a drink to quench its thirst, we stepped back to admire and honor the natural beauty.

Shortly after, attention diverted and we turned our indoor focus to games.

Her glad cheer and happiness over my appreciation of her discovery and gift warmed my heart and I stood struck once again by the extraordinary, simple pleasures of a child.

The innocent wonder reignites hope in my heart that this holiday season, in the midst of tumultuous times, the same kind of wonder is obtainable by each of us, adults and children alike.

How can we learn from a 5-year-old and take steps to wonder this Christmas/Holiday Season?

She didn’t let the rain and cold derail her.

She skipped down the sidewalk, had fun with puddle obstacles, ignored the cold, and saw the beauty in nature.

She had eyes to see loveliness in the mundane.

The day was drab. Grey skies, soggy golden tan grass, and concrete sidewalk. She imagined the dead, fallen leaf as a beautiful flower.

Are we able to see beyond the ugly parts of our world today? Not in a superficial denial, but facing things with realism and at the same time extending grace and using intentional vision to see things a little kinder than their present harshness.

Maybe if we refrain from social media retorts, or offer smiles of compassion through a really tough time, we will shine as a bold ray of sun through the parting storm clouds; a rainbow of color refracting sad rain and transforming and using the sun to offer our care and joy to the surrounding world…to strangers and friends alike.

She offered a creative, loving gift to brighten another’s day.

Do we give to others with no thought of return, only something to make the other person’s day or life a little better? A generous greeting or timely gift or dollar donation to a reputable charity. A tasty home-baked good to a lonely neighbor. A phone call to a troubled friend.

She delighted in the knowledge that her floral gift was an appreciated treasure.

How do we receive the gifts of others? Do we respond with appreciation and gratitude for their thoughtfulness and care? How do we live the example of the truth that the little things in life DO matter and affect our daily existence for the better?

We CAN make a difference in our little corner of the world this Christmas and beyond.

We were created by the Almighty Creator. May we seek the beauty in everyday life, in spite of storms, rain, or cold, and live with great joy and wonder to stir our hearts and those around us to a brighter season.

The Greatest Wonder of All

And the greatest wonder celebrated this time of year is the birth of Jesus who offers radical, sacrificial love, and an eternal wonder of the steps to abundant life here and forever.