Waking from a vivid dream of people preparing to celebrate with freely flowing gifts, it was a few days before Christmas, ahead of the dawn. I had been sick in bed for three days and nights. Between pushing hard to work extra hours, interfacing in closed spaces with the public, and trying to prepare a few Christmas gifts for mailing before post office deadlines, I had blocked out annoyances of others’ frantic preparations humming about me. Taking a break, due to a sudden illness I hadn’t chosen, had left me feeling more like the Grinch or Scrooge than Father (or Mother) Christmas this year.
It was also clear, I was back in Florida where people rich in retirement time and resources could try extra hard to “make the season bright”. Holiday parties and concerts, events like the annual “Surfing Santa” competition, and neighborhood glow-in-the-dark light shows, were of little interest to me, as I simply hoped to breathe freely again. More than three days “off” without a doctor’s note that would cost me a considerable co-pay to acquire, loitered in the back of my mind. Time in every way seemed to be shortening, so I was making a point of separating out the necessary from accessories.
It had been a very windy and cooler than usual December in the “sunshine state”. Not that I minded the cold or dogs snuggling in bed next to me, but in a semi-awakened state, I’d begun hearing music unlike anything I’d ever heard before. The windows above the bed had been opened an inch or two for fresh air, so the wind whipping palm tree branches, and the cooler air had amplified ocean waves crashing throughout the night. But the sounds coming through the windows now were different. It was still before sunrise, and none of the neighbors here had their boom boxes set to a classical station, I could be assured. No lights where on except the almost full moon that had been like a gigantic night-light hovering over the chilly coastline, growing brighter and fuller, as it rose and over-powered lesser stars in the constellation.
I’d propped myself up with an ear to the sliver of opened window at my head, but heard nothing unusual, as I tried to identify the source of the other-worldly sounds I’d been hearing. Lying back down, bundling myself under the comforter and an extra blanket, three dogs reconfigured around me, as I closed my eyes hoping for another hour of needed sleep. Then the ethereal tones returned. For several minutes, a soothing stream of soft orchestral music, seamlessly blending layers of hymns, cord progressions of Christmas songs, and soothing harmonics, washed over me like a soft breath. I purposed to be still for as long as it lasted.
Abruptly, as the sun began filtering through the closed blinds, everyday sounds like the garbage collection truck coming down the street, construction machinery from the condos beach-side, and coastal roadway traffic, transitioned me out of a more soothing state. Opening my eyes, I wondered if this window to another realm had been my imagination, or a glimpse of what truly exists beyond daily perceptions. All I can tell anyone, is that from that morning forward, my health began to improve. After another day of rest, finishing a gallon of fresh juice, and emptying a honey jar with the last of the lemon-ginger tea, I was back to work.
On Christmas Eve, when I was tempted to feel the most alone, I was well enough to walk the brightly lit sidewalks of a neighborhood with hundreds of other sight-seekers, and later attended a church service where the message by a young female pastor was about “Expectations”. It was a reminder: Jesus came to seek and save the lost, and to heal a broken and sick world, but He came in a way unexpected by many.
I hope the New Year proves in small and significant ways: A King in heavenly realms does indeed exist, whose angels direct and encourage, whose Spirit can heal, and whose assures reveal there is a Home beyond the influences of those who boast about their power and authority here on earth. In the interim, Merry Christmas to those who already (or will) believe in miracles.