I headed for the nearest mall door to get out of the icy night. What a time to be out! I was going after something I had seen here last week, you know, a last minute gift, and you also know as well as I do it is most likely already gone.
In my rush, I brushed too near a little boy, and sent him tumbling to the floor. He bounced a couple of times then quickly checked the contents of the bag he was carrying; all appeared to be ok. He gave me a ten-year-old (I'm guessing) smile as I gushed my apologies,and his mother and I helped him up.
We chatted a bit, and walked along together. He was a thin boy but seemed very mature for his age. "I've just seen Santa!" he said, "He gave me this bag of candy canes." He pulled one out, opened it and inserted it into his mouth. His Mom reminded him to eat only one; they were on a mission to find someone here in the mall to share the rest of the candy with. He gave me a look; "I know about, well... you know, but I still like the idea of Santa, and I love Christmas!"
I hugged his shoulders and said, "So do I Jake, so do I." We walked on together, my hustle and bustle had slowed.
"I am going to be baptized on Christmas day at my church; I have been saved and now Jesus lives in my heart." Then in a small boy's way of witnessing he asked me questions and finally seemed satisfied that just like him, I also was a believer and a Jesus lover.
Near another exit door, set in a wall of windows, we saw a woman on a bench facing the outside; she had two young children with her. They appeared to be waiting for the city bus; the stop was just on the other side of the window wall.
"What do you think?" asked Jake's Mom.
Jake proceeded to the family and ask the woman if he could talk about Christmas to her children and share his candy canes with them while they waited for the bus. Assuming her smile meant yes, Jake took his stand. His Mom whispered, "Jake is an unabashed thespian and a natural- born singer." I could hear the pride in her voice.
He began the Christmas story with Bethlehem, the shepherds, the star and the baby Jesus in a manger. He told it in such a beautifully simple way, it was compelling and touching spoken in his melodic tones. I think I heard the angels sing. I noticed a crowd had gathered all around us. Now Jake was singing; tears flooded my eyes as he sang of a holy night. This young boy, with perfect pitch and joy in his voice was melting emotions (hardened from hectic shopping) all around me as we stood shoulder to shoulder in the middle of the mall, while Jake tendered our hearts and made us ready for Christmas.
In this hushed crowd as we praised, prayed, and rejoiced, Our Lord was being reflected through Jake, for Jesus indwells his children and lives in their praise. We were a line of people, and we were seeing Jesus through the eyes of our hearts.