Over the weekend I remembered a feature that ran in a newspaper years ago.
For some reason I began thinking about children’s letters to Santa Claus and how cute they were. We used to print them in the kids’ original handwriting, misspellings, bad grammar and all.
With all the trust their little hearts could muster, they would write their letters to Santa, not intending to share them with anyone who read them in our newspaper but probably not caring because they just knew Santa was going to see them and answer their requests.
I really enjoy the Santa scene. Not that I believe everything I see or hear, mind you, but I choose to believe in miracles.
I remember the elderly lady who was on her “death bed” in the Columbus hospital years ago.
Her doctor came into the room while I was there. I had been asked by a family member to stop by. The doctor told us she wouldn’t be around in the morning.
His diagnosis seemed appropriate except … That night, she was asking for supper and lived to return home and enjoy life for several years afterward.
Miraculous? Well, beyond our understanding.
Guideposts magazine used to regularly carry stories of people who had near death experiences. The first time I read such an account it scared the devil out of me! Of course I was a child at the time and believed in miracles and in Santa.
For decades now the church has wrung their collective hands and complained about attempts to exclude deity in any form from everything.
Many people believe in what we might call “a closed universe.” That means anything that happens has to be explainable by known science. That excludes the possibility we have been visited by “little green men” from Mars or its vast neighborhood beyond Earth.
A good friend of my explains away the possibility of time travel because we haven’t figured out how to do it.
I wonder if people told the Wright brothers that human flight wasn't possible? Or, what people thought when someone said one day we would travel in a car at speeds of 80-plus mph? Could a human survive traveling that fast? It hadn’t happened up to then.
This closed universe scenario even affects those believers inside the church.
I remember visiting with a school teacher one evening. He was a Christian and he had determined the reason we can’t see Heaven is because it is always rotating on the opposite side of the Sun. The Sun is in the way so we can’t see Heaven! He didn’t believe that God could live in a dimension or or on a plane of existence other than what we see around us.
I can’t explain the angelic appearances to Mary and Joseph concerning the coming birth of Jesus but I accept by faith that they happened.
You may or may not teach your children there is a Santa Claus. I think your family will miss much enjoyment if you choose to ignore the big guy in the red and white suit, but that is certainly your privilege.
I do urge you, however, to not try to explain away other miracles of Christmas. Just accept them and enjoy them!
Frank Phillips is a reporter for The Brazil Times, Brazil, Ind. and a freelance writer. He can be reached by e-mail (unless you want to send a note via the North Pole) at firstname.lastname@example.org.