Just an ordinary Tuesday, same old drill, same old me.
A sweet smiling worker at the University motioned me to stop and then very humbly presented me with a tiny box containing something sparkly. It was a rosary made of faceted crystal beads, a tiny antiqued silver medallion and a crucifix. I instantly put it around my neck and thanked her profusely with a hug of astonishment at her thoughtfulness. There were too many students and professors coming and going for this to be any more than an extended moment though she quickly communicated what she had intended to and we both went away feeling thankful.
Not being raised in the Catholic tradition I’m unsure of any protocols involved. I’ve worn cross necklaces before but sparingly. A reality show a few years back featured real housewives wearing huge and elaborate crosses on jean pockets and across their cropped tee shirts. It seemed a misuse of a revered symbol of suffering, death, and redemption but who am I to judge? It was trending.
I confess I don’t know the proper times or ways to wear my heartfelt gift. Is it to be worn daily? Just to church? Held in one’s hands during prayer or just at funerals? Too many questions perhaps but I want to get this right to honor the kind heart of the one who gave it.
Yesterday I read that there were just 43 days left until Christmas. OMG, what a sense of panic washed through my entire being. This was meant to inform that we have only so many days “left” to buy gifts, bake the cookies, rehearse the carols, trim the tree. Write the annual Christmas letter. All of that. We’re all RUNNING OUT OF TIME TO DO THE RIGHT THING! was how it felt.
Then the message of the gift that had been given just before spoke gently to my soul. The message came through crystal clear without being stitched on my jeans or worn on a filigree chain. It is Love, once again, that prompts us to give. Not a threat or a season but a heart that’s been moved, felt appreciated, noticed. Love does that. It notices and responds with a kiss or a rumpled daisy plucked from the neighbor’s garden, “I picked this for YOU mommy.” Just for you.