Monday, December 21, 2020

Mystery: #AdventWord Day 23

What does a fox say?

At around 3 am last night, we were awakened by the answer to this YouTube mystery circa 2013. It’s not pleasant. The reasons for the disturbance will be left to the imagination. Needless to say, there were two foxes. They were gorgeous to spot as they walked on the white canvas that has become our backyard and left behind infinite paw prints for morning discovery. 

One of my favorite Christmas mysteries involves other sets of footprints. Bishop Nicholas of Myra regularly patrolled a fourth century community and mysteriously dropped funds for families battling poverty. One year, his threefold efforts distributed enough to spare three daughters from being trafficked into slavery. The first drop was through a window; another drop was in shoes out front; a final drop was sent down a chimney to land in stockings hung to dry. The patriarch of the family saw the footprints of this anonymous source of benevolence, coordinated a late-night stake out, and, when caught, grasped the bishop by the red clerical robe as the Bishop attempted to leave. Nicholas swore the father to secrecy, wanting the glory of his generosity to be reserved for Christ alone. I tell this story to my kids every year. 

There are a lot reasons to grieve these days. This past week has been especially tough for our family. So I am clinging to the mysterious drops of kindness in socially distant gatherings with colleagues, greeting cards in our mailboxes, good news stories read about on social media, the rare moments our kids play well together when they think we are not watching, and those random texts from friends and family that remind us we can still communicate though apart. These are the very imprints of God with us. Keep your eyes and ears open to the unveilings of these mysteries that just may be what you need to get through each day.  Maybe find a way to offer such anonymous drops of kindness, looking not for accolade but only to reflect the love of Christ.