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Omaha, Nebraska, United States
I am more and more convinced that most congregations die from a staggering lack of imagination. Let's change that. Let's imagine a creative future with God and each other together. Drop me a line on email or leave a comment if you have thoughts on God, Jesus, congregations, the church or whatever.... I look forward to our conversations.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Hurry! Rush! Don't Delay! Last Chance! Christmas is almost here

Christmas is almost here. I was out on the town the last couple of days doing some buying of gifts. For me, I think and plan Christmas gifts to the people I am buying for, and when I leave the house I don't need to shop...I buy what I planned. Boring, but effective.     

Everyone wants my money...and a few of the retailers want to help make my Christmas spending have meaning and value. I was working with a clerk trying to find the best option for the gift I wanted to give my wife. Let us just say, the woman deserved her lunch break after dealing with me for a half-hour. We tried on various styles and colors, her opinion was asked for and received, and as we reached a satisfactory conclusion to our business, she said. "I wish I had more customers like you. You can tell you really care about this person. Most people come here and buy what they like, and don't care about who gets it. You are a good husband. Thank you."

Well--what do you do with that? I replied with a nod and a thank you, and signed my receipt, and then she said. "Oh, you get to pick a box." As she showed me some of the gift boxes available, I asked her what she wanted for a Christmas gift from her significant other. (That she is not married had been ascertained LONG before this moment.) "I want a vanity."

I got to admit I did not see that coming. You see, she impressed me as a capable, beautiful, and intelligent young woman. She had this hair color that almost made it look silver under the lights, and with her pale makeup and red lipstick she had this cosmopolitan air about her that belied our Omaha location. The brown, calf-high boots, with the mustard colored sweater slipping off her shoulder so she had to keep inching it back up made for a rather risky color scheme, but her composure, her smile, and her ability to laugh off my jokes (and you, gentle reader, know that is hard to do as the jokes are often not good) made me think she could run the store by the end of her shift. So to dream of a piece of furniture, albeit one she would obviously use, just took me by surprise.

She was wrapping the gift in this box, and I asked her what kind of vanity? We have a lot of blonde wood in our house. "Scandinavian. " I asked? No, she said, that mid-century blonde wood that was so popular. "I'd like it so somehow fit in with that." We talked about my grandmother's old vanity, and did she want some kind of antique? Finally, as she placed my gift in a bag, I said, I hope you have someone who spends time looking for your vanity. She smiled so demurely that I am sure that she is the picture Wikipedia uses for the word "demure," and she said, "I hope he loves me." So do I.

Of course, whether my young clerk gets her vanity or not, the love of her partner is not dependent upon that. But every now and then it is nice to know that the ones who claim to love you actually do loving things towards you. It's not a requirement, but it is nice to receive every now and then. Christmas is God acting in our favor because God loves us. If--some year--Christmas doesn't come, God doesn't show up here on earth--well, that's an apocalypse not even the Mayans would have missed. Merry Christmas!!

May your conversations be true, and your tables be full.

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