Give Yourself to Others …

Posts Tagged ‘santa

… is when your grand-daughter tells your daughter that your daughter “has the best daddy ever!”

Okay, I admit there’s a little more to the context.  Here is my daughter’s entire post on Facebook:

Lucy (that’s my grand-daughter) just now says to Stacy (that’s my daughter):
‘I cannot believe that your Daddy is the REAL Santa Clause!!! That just blows my mind!’
Then she whispers in my ear ‘You have the best Daddy EVER! You are so lucky’

What more can a guy ask for?

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When I plan to met someone at a public place, if they’ve never seen me before, I often tell them I bear a close resemblance to Santa Claus — mainly because of my mostly white hair and white beard … as my picture will attest.

And during the Christmas season, I enjoy filling in for the jolly old elf, in spite of myself.

But there is an interesting analogy between putting on my Santa Suit and labeling myself a Christian.

David as Santa Claus, with a little friend

When I put on my Santa suit, I have to always be prepared to represent Santa to children.  I can’t be Santa and be a grouch — or a jerk — or be impolite — or short-tempered.  I have to be willing to be Santa and everything that goes along with that “stereotype.”  If I’m not willing to do that I shouldn’t put on the suit.  When anyone sees me, they should say, There’s Santa!

And that’s the way it should be as a Christian, as well.  If I “put on Christ”, then when anyone sees me, they should say, That’s guy is a Christian.

There are a lot of implications that go along with that.  And I’m not saying it’s easy or simple.  I’m just saying there is a parallel.

Obviously, it’s easier to put on a suit to then look and act like Santa Claus.  One reason it’s easier is because I can take the Santa suit off and people don’t automatically think of me as Santa.

But then the remaining question for both you and me is this:  Do people think I do as good a job of representing Jesus, as they think I do representing Santa?  Shouldn’t they?

I think the answer to that should be, “yes.”

As you can see from the photo, I have a special gift. It hasn’t been the thorn in the flesh, that Paul complained about in his epistles, but it certainly has kept my attention and the attention of others as well.

This time of year, I keep a red stocking cap in my car, because I never know when I might need to become Santa.

This year, I was able to be Santa for the children of some US airmen, deployed from Andrews AFB. Digital pictures were printed “on the spot” and mailed to mothers and fathers in Iraq, Afghanistan and other places.

I rode around South Arlington, Virginia, on a fire engine from Arlington Co Fire Department, Station 5. We brought out kids, parents and grandparents from houses all over and put smiles on a lot of faces.

It feels great when you can wave to someone, yell “Merry Christmas” and they smile and wave back. We stopped at an ice skating rink and a bunch of folks took pictures with Santa. We stepped inside a bar, where Santa had his picture taken with a young woman about to move to Germany.

My favorite thing is to put on the suit and ride my motorcycle around Springfield Mall and other nearby shopping centers. Smiles, honks, waves — it makes me smile.

Christmas morning, I visited the post-partum floors of Inova Fairfax Hospital. A lot more photos with new moms and new babies. I got to hold a lot of new babies that morning. Someone on the nursing staff said thanks for coming by, but I got more out of it than the folks I visited.

When you look like I do (white beard and all) and you put on the suit, you always have to be ready to respond to the look of a child, or even the appreciation of an adult.

But, then again, when you’re a follower of Jesus, a follower of the command to love one another, then you always have to be prepared to give yourself to others, for their good, expecting nothing in return — just as Jesus did for us.

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