We tell our 4-year-old granddaughter that if she stops believing in Santa Clause that he will stop coming. The intention there is to believe in something that is good and good things will come to us. For instance, if I stop hearing the Christmas bell when it’s jiggled, then Santa will cease to bring me a new portable shop vac or Jaclyn Smith poster.
It’s not a secret that people are more rude and self-centered now. Many times we’re good to even get a ‘thank you’ or a bare minimal cordial nod when we exchange our money to other people for goods or services. We’ve become jaded at the world as a whole. There’s plenty of reason to turn our attitudes in that direction after repeated episodes of human rudeness. Our expectations of life change. I won’t say that I don’t believe in good people anymore but opportunities to witness good people doing good things are more rare for me now than previously.
This past week, I was checking out at Kroger when noticed that I didn’t have my wallet. Now, this isn’t unusual for me. I have lost pieces and parts of 2 sets of earbuds this year alone. I stop at the desk at the gym and say ‘did you find my watch’? and they smile and reply ‘yes, you want the gloves you left with it too’?
After going out to my Jeep and checking to see if I’d left it there, I returned back in and was coming by the customer service desk. A woman behind the desk spoke up and pointed at me.
“Excuse me, what’s your name?’.
‘Mark’, I replied.
‘What’s your last name?’ she replied.
And right there before my eyes, she smiled really big and held up my wallet. I could see the money in the clip was intact and the cards were visible. She had ID’d me from my driver’s license in there.
‘Where did you find it?’ I asked.
‘This man and his wife found it in the parking lot’ as she pointed to a lovely couple who both turned towards me, smiling.
Something about their smiles screamed Christmas at me. I suppose it would have been moving had it been July 4th, but this time of year, in particular, their warm and welcoming smiles instantly filled my cup back up with Belief.
My cup had been low for a while now. I guess as an aging man, a certain amount of that decreasing Belief level is part of the whole hair loss and creaky joints thing. At times lately, I’ve found it quite embarrassing to be a human. We humans can be atrocious and ungrateful creations.
But those two smiles, along with my intact wallet, suddenly made me glad again to be human.
The amount of money in the wallet was valuable to me, yes. But all of that goodness that radiated from this senior couple far outweighed the value in that wallet.
My heart flipped a little like Zuzu’s petals when he told me his name. ‘It’s George’, he very calmly said. Automatically, my mind immediately recalled the goodness of George Bailey.
We had a brief conversation and I left there walking a little bit more confident than when I went in. It appeared that possibly this world, despite political differences, global infections, and rude girls at the Sonic, might just be ok.
This holiday season, let’s all believe again. Let’s turn off the news that constantly infuses our minds with needless negativity and gossipy social media platforms.
And for just this one time a year, believe.
Believe that something good is about to happen.
Believe that somewhere, right now, someone just remembered your smile.
Believe that when you wake up, your hip won’t be as sore as it was.
Believe that a child somewhere is warm and cozy and happily wrapped in a coat that you donated.
Believe that a grandfather will continue to stare into the dark night sky on Christmas eve from his backyard. And the red light that he sees flashing as it crosses the sky, 58 years later from when he was a child, he will continue to believe that is not the light on an airplane.
He continues to believe that the moving red light is indeed Rudolph’s nose slicing thru the night sky delivering toys to children all over the entire world in a very full, very red, and very shiny
Merry Christmas 2022!
That’s the best that I can tell about it,
Beautiful story Mark and I long for the days gone by that we all listened for the ringing of the silver bell and watched the cold December sky for that magical sleigh. Merry Christmas my friend to you and yours.😊❤️🎅🏻🤶🏻
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Thank you, my friend. I think it’s still there today. It’s just covered up by noise in our life. Merry Christmas to you and yours, as well!
I loved reading this my friend. I think we could all use some Christmas cheer!
Thank you. Well said. I have definitely tried to smile during my shopping and I think I have succeeded.
Love this. This should be published somewhere , in a newspaper or magazine , it is that good. I needed to read this today. Thank you my friend for sharing. You restored my faith in people
I love this story! It made me tear up a little. Always look for the good! Merry Christmas!
Thank you and Merry Christmas!!!
TT, thank you for those kind words. Reflections like that is why I write; just in case it helps someone. Merry Christmas, my ole friend! Much love sent.
Thank you and Merry Christmas!
Thank you and I hope you got your shopping done with a smile. Merry Christmas!
Thank you, my friend. I hope your home is showered with many Christmas blessings this year!
Thanks, Mark. It’s good to hear you ‘believe’ again. Yes, some of the really nice things we used to hear or see are not as evident as they once were, and drivers are not as correctly safe as they were in times gone by but with the faith we have in Jesus Christ, whose birth we will celebrate later this month may we, as well as others, remember who is our Savior and try harder to live as he lived here on earth. May your Christmas be a happy and bright one!
Yes ma’am! I hope you and yours have a wonderful Christmas as well!
Have you retired from JMCGH? Since there is no heart rehab anymore and covid there is little visitation to the hospital anymore unless it’s to a very close family member, no one knows whose there anymore. If you have retired – enjoy retirement!
Yes ma’am, I retired from medicine in July of this year. After 41 years of taking care of sick people, it was time.
We enjoyed reading your blog. It was our pleasure to meet you and to be instrumental in returning your wallet. There is no such thing as coincidence or luck. The events leading up to our meeting were orchestrated. We hope that you and yours experience love, joy, peace, and hope not only during this most special Christmas season but throughout the coming year.
Agreed. Next time you see Jan Outlaw, tell that crazy thing that I said HI! She said she knew you.