This post was written the first Christmas after I had cancer; it still reminds me every year of what is important and and what is not.

 

See God does put us right where we need to be.

Yesterday was slammed for me and I still had yet to pick up the two CD players and the Yankees cap I needed to complete the list of my “angel tree kids.”  I was further frustrated as I planned to do the shop last night while Amelia carpooled to dance with another kid, and then she told me at the last-minute that surprise! It was parent’s night at dance and I was expected to go watch the practice and dance with her.

So off we race to Target at 4:45, trying to run in before dance with me wondering when in the world I would get to the specialty store at the mall for the Yankees cap.

We get to the CD player aisle to find the shelves COMPLETELY empty, I mean nada player to be found.  I couldn’t believe it.  Amelia says, “Just go ask the guy.”  Now when in Target have you ever gotten an answer other than “Sorry we’re out;” especially a week before Christmas?

So I find this kindly elderly black man, a Target employee at the end of the aisle. And I ask him about the two I want, a pink one for the girl and gold one for the boy.  He quietly scans the bar code of the empty shelf for the pink one and says, “Wait here, I’ll find it.” Off he goes, not to the stockroom mind you, but somewhere out of sight, and boom he comes back around the corner with one in his hand. Next, he scans the boy’s one, and again says, “Wait here” and he comes out not a half a minute later with the one I wanted in his hand.

I thanked him and said jokingly said, “Gee, you can’t make a Yankees ball cap appear can you?”  And he says, “Go over right next to the fitting room in men’s.” 

So Amelia and I start walking down that way and this HUGE spilling over the top filled cart comes out of the video gaming section and almost knocks into us. I mean it was filled to the brim with toys and games and clothes and food and a PSP. There was this little kid, like 7-year-old kid holding the side of it, absolutely dancing out of his skin; he was jumping up and down and an ear to ear grin. And with him is this crowd of adults laughing at his glee, and his mom, crying saying “Josh, this is just gonna be the best Christmas we ever had!” 

Turns out it was the Carolina Hurricanes Hockey team doing the charity shop with families.

Off Amelia and I wander, (very doubtfully mind you,) to the very far corner of men’s to find a small hat section we never even knew existed, and on the bottom shelf, there it sits; one Yankees cap.

 Go figure.

 And just like that, we remembered what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown.

And just like that, we understood what may seem like a bother or a chore to knock off our lists as we are busy living our own busy lives, may be an action that can affect the world exponentially, in ways we could not even imagine, unless it is put in front of us.

We remembered that steadfast and even believing in the impossible makes it possible.

I was reminded of what a privilege it is to be able to buy gifts for my kids at Christmas to start with, and what a gift it is to be able to give joy to other people’s kids. And how really, that is why God put us here; to take care of our brothers and that God always puts you exactly where you need to be when you need reminding.

Reminding of what a privilege it is that your kid is healthy and can dance, and you can watch and are alive to dance with her.

I’d like to believe that if I went back to Target today, and asked about the employee to find to him thank, they’d say, “M’am, we don’t have an elderly black man working here.” And then, when I went to men’s section, they’d say, “We don’t carry Yankees merchandise.”

I won’t test my theory though; I’ll just choose to believe in my angel.

“And that’s what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown” ~Linus Van Pelt

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