Long ago, I had a pen-pal in Canada. A friend of my parents had relatives in Canada and somehow – we became pen-pals. I don’t remember much about those letters, but I sure wish I could be a timeless cherub and look over my shoulder as I wrote them or as I read the letters from Carole that came back to me.
Carole disappeared from my life around those crazy teen years in the 60’s. I’m not sure who stopped writing first, but we were both about the same age, so I guess it was a mutual decision. One thing I do know – it started my fascination with the mailbox and with using pen and paper to express my thoughts. I’ve never gotten over it.
Today, I got a Christmas card and note from a newer pen-pal. We started corresponding a few years before I retired. We don’t write often, but when a letter comes, I am just as excited as I was long ago. I always find a quiet corner (so I can hear their voice in my head) and open that letter last (save the best for last adage always works for me).
Anyway, Judith’s card was a simple reminder of what this whole week before Christmas should be about. Not rushing to the store. Not worrying about lists. Not last minute decorations that aren’t working. Simple stories. Stories like the ones Rabbi Yeshua would use. Judith sent me a Christmas parable that I hadn’t seen for a long time. It is well worth sharing on this 3rd night of LOVE.
“Christmas Eve as the great evergreens were hauled into the convent sanctuary, a little bird which had found shelter in one of the trees was brought into chapel with it. Windows and doors were thrown open – but in his frantic attempts to escape, he dashed himself against the walls and ceiling.
As a sister watched in anguish, she thought – ‘If I could just become a little bird myself, I could show him how to get out. He would not be afraid to follow another bird.’
When at last he blundered his way out, it occurred to her: ‘Mankind was lost, bewildered and trapped. God, himself, cared enough to become a human being to rescue us.’
That is the meaning of the Incarnation.”
Pen pals are a blessing in many ways. Today my pen-pal was a unexpected Christ-mass Blessing. As we enter the last few days of this blessed season, may unexpected Christ-mass Blessings circle round you and your family.