Monday Devotional
Dear Friend,
 
A friend posted a video on facebook that caught my attention.  The video was created by a preacher at a mall in Texas.  He was standing alongside the line of people waiting to see Santa.  The line featured families and children of all ages.  Looking into his own camera, the preacher explained that he was going to set all these folks straight about Santa.
 
The man proceeded to walk up and down the line shouting at the families telling them that Santa is not real and that the parents are lying to their children.  He continued his diatribe as a few parents very calmly asked him to stop.  He persisted.  I believe the video lasted about 6 minutes before he walked away with his own feeling of self-righteousness.
 
I wondered whether the preacher knew that the modern understanding of Santa is based upon the real-life person of St. Nicholas.  He was a generous soul encouraging people to give to those in need.  His own actions were so inspiring that we continue to carry those traditions today.
 
On a deeper level, however, I am saddened by the kind of person that would try to take away the imaginative musings of modern children.  They receive these stories of flying reindeer and a man who can enter one’s home through the chimney and who offers gifts to children around the world as a simple truth.  Though they have never seen these things, they believe they are possible.  And that is a good thing.
 
Rather than taking away the imaginations of children, perhaps the mall preacher would have been better served trying to encourage the same imagination within the impoverished lives of adults.  “People can’t change.”  “The world will always be that way.”  “There is no reason to hope for anything different.”  These are the results of our own impoverished imaginations.  Rather than taking away children’s imaginations, we might gain much by listening and learning from them. 
 
Christmas inspires the imaginations of children and we might be well served to hang around them in the hopes that these gifts might rub off a bit on the rest of us.  I am thinking of leaving a few cookies by the tree on Christmas eve.  Maybe a hand-written note to the North Pole…I don’t need anything but I might ask on behalf of some folks I know.  Or maybe I’ll spend some time talking with the children of the Preschool as they tell me about the magic of Christmas.  My imagination could always use the boost enabling me to open my heart and mind to other unlikely possibilities just waiting to happen.  This would be a nice gift to receive.
 
Peace,
  
Howard