Mrs. Claus Mishap/Miracle
My Mrs. Claus History
I dressed up as Mrs. Claus as I do every year. Usually I pair up with a volunteer Santa and visit nursing homes and give them socks and other comforting items. Since my NanNan passed, last year was harder for me than I thought it would be. She was in a nursing home the last few years of her life. Instead of repeating those feelings from last year, this year I signed up to help Santa at a Head Start program at the poorest school in our county. Little kids at Christmastime are the best! If you aren’t familiar with Head Start, it is a program for children ages 3-5 in homes that are at or below the poverty line.
So we took photos with 200 kids, sang songs with them, read them a story about a sleepy owl and then proceeded to give each child a present. It was great. Some children cried, some were elated. For a few of them that may be the only toy they receive this year. You could tell the parents (yes the parents/guardians were there too) really appreciated the toy donation that was made (not sure who donated the toys but it was a pleasure passing them out).
So once the gift giving was over it was time to go. I was standing by the doors waiting for my Santa companion to finish up his chat with one of the teachers. I suddenly felt a flash of hot, saw spots and began to lose vision and hearing. I grabbed the principal standing next to me and said “I’m dizzy I need to sit down”.
This is where the story gets interesting. I’ll tell the story in two parts: the actual situation and my reflection of the situation.
The Actual Situation
The principal sat me down, radio’d the nurse (dramatically) to get down the hall. She grabbed me up and pushed my head towards her chest and said “lean on me”. Things were silent for a minute. I think everyone was in shock at me being fine one second and hanging by a thread the next. The nurse showed up and said I needed to go to her office so she could get my blood pressure. I squeaked out that I was pregnant and pandemonium ensued. I was immediately surrounded by a crowd of people, including the campus police officer who heard the distress call to the nurse over the radio. They stripped me of my Mrs. Claus outfit and wheeled me down the hall in a rolly office chair.
I had regular clothes on under the costume, so no worries there… but dude I was humiliated and embarrassed. I kinda started to tear up because what else does a pregnant woman do that is feeling dizzy and stressed?! Well they took my blood pressure and it was pretty high. When I saw those numbers I legit began to panic. All I could think of was “Not again! Not preeclampsia again!” I burst out uncontrollable tears that would not stop for an hour (not an exaggeration). They took my blood pressure again a few minutes later and it was back down to a safe level. They made me promise to call my doctor (who wasn’t concerned at all by the way- I just got too hot) and got me a ride back to my office. I had to redo my makeup 3 times because I couldn’t get it together.
I’m okay! I just got too hot and a little dizzy. “No more Mrs. Claus” was what the doctor prescribed.
I kept reliving the situation. That’s why I kept crying. In addition to being completely terrified that preeclampsia was already rearing it’s ugly head again, I just kept thinking of how many people saw me in a weak moment. I work so hard to maintain a stoic and professional demeanor. I felt weak and vulnerable in front of dozens of people and I was humiliated.
But here is where the beauty lies… the principal. The principal, an African American woman whom I’d never met, held me. She held me like I was her own child. And in the silence when everyone was in shock I heard her say “in Jesus name”. She was praying over me. A woman I’ve never met, who doesn’t know me, anything about me, held me and prayed for me. Have you ever had a complete stranger fully embrace you and pray over you??
She loved me with the love of Christ in that moment. And just when I think I fully understand the love of Christ, something like this happens. Christ revealed to me, while I was reflecting on this could-be dramatic event, that it doesn’t matter who I am, what I’ve done, how much money I make, how many good deeds I do, how many bad thoughts I have, how stoic or professional I appear, how many mistakes I’ve made and even if I have turned my back on him more than once. Christ is there with an embrace, always. At all times! There is no expectation for something in return. All I need to do is simply lean in and be enveloped by the Love of Christ.
I had this revelation in the shower later that evening and bawled (once again) at the depth of the Father’s love for me.
Even though I’ve grown up a Christian, I’ve gone to church nearly every Sunday of my life, I’m still learning new things about Christ.
God always has a miraculous way of reaching each of us. We just have to be aware and ready to see Christ in all we do and experience.
The Moral of My Mrs. Claus Story
I want you, reader, to know that you don’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to have all of the answers. You don’t have to be the best, the wisest, the most liked or the most anything. All you have to do is lean in.
You may not feel worthy of an embrace by Christ, but He is there waiting with open arms regardless of how you view yourself. Just lean in.
“Hide me away, oh Lord. In the day of trouble ‘neath the shadow of your wings, hide me away, oh Lord.”