Our reading today is title “Lucky” by Rev. John Gibbons.
The lost-and-found pet notice reads as follows:
Lost. One large and lively, multi-colored nondescript mutt. Ragged left ear, one-eyed, three-legged, missing tail. Answers to the name “Lucky.” Reward. Beloved.
And so the holiday season is upon us: large, lively, multi-colored and hard-to-describe. The celebrations are a bit worse-for-wear, sometimes shabby, oft-abused. We the celebrants — at least those above a certain age — are a bit dog-eared ourselves. Some of us bear the scars of unfestive frays past.
Nonetheless, the old bounding mutt of December still answers to the name Lucky. Despite all that is missing and all that is too much, there is in this season an abiding delight that we are still alive, still sniffing, still licking hands and faces, still barking at the moon, still rolling in trash, still chasing cars, rabbits and rainbows, still risking life, limb and tail, and still able to sleep and dream, curled warm on the rug. We are disfigured; life has taken its huge toll, but no more, and more remains.
We are lucky to be living in these beloved days and beloved nights. May we find delight, and may delight also find us. There is a reward.
I don’t quite remember how old I was when it happened. I was young, I know that much, probably five or six years old. It was Christmas morning and, as most children that celebrate the holiday would be, I was ecstatic. I woke up knowing there would be presents that appeared magically under the tree and I could stay in my pajamas as long as I wanted.
I never really ripped paper off of presents in a flurry. I was somewhat meticulous. I began to open my presents and, to my surprise, something odd was in one of them. I knew what it was immediately. It was an object most children hear about in legend, something you never want to see, something that represents the worst case scenario for Christmas.
Out of the box rolled an unmistakable black lump of coal. I’ve been told my response was less than enthusiastic. Those couple of months leading up to Christmas, I was doing what many kids my age might do. Testing the waters. Pushing boundaries. I expected to receive certain presents, I knew they would come, how could they not? Read the rest of this entry »