I enjoy Christmas—always have. I look forward to children’s pageants, complete with Burger King crowns for wise men, bath-robed shepherds, and aluminum foil-wings for angels; misty-eyed singing of “Silent Night” in the glow of candlelight; watching George C. Scott as Ebenezer Scrooge and Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey, the Grinch’s stealing and returning Christmas yet again. I look forward to the arrhythmic ringing of Salvation Army bells.
Hope is sinewy, tenacious, and determined. It gives us strength when ours is gone, carries us into the future when we’ve been knocked-off our feet by the disappointments of the present, and makes it possible for us to trust that God is with us even when we feel alone.
There’s more than a year to go before the presidential election, and, already, I am weary of the campaign. When I can manage simply to view the candidates as performers, some talented and others not so much, and hear their speeches as scripts in an over-the-top television series, the political news is entertaining.
My friend Bob and I were sitting on the bleachers just outside the racquetball court and trying to catch our breath between games. A group of race-running, soccer-ball kicking, tricycle-riding, and twirling-dancing preschool children spread out across the basketball court set the air abuzz with an energy I envy and filled the gym with squeals and laughter.
Several brave and curious children came near us and looked at us as if we were bears in a zoo.