Fear and Wonder


“Don’t feel hurt, ” my daughter-in-law told Dave. “When your granddaughter saw an off-duty Santa at Sam’s Club, she was like white on rice hangin’ on to my Mom.” The two-year-old registered pure terror then, despite the Santa’s efforts to engage her in friendly conversation. The blue-eyed toddler stole glances and kept asking her Mommy,”Where he go?” And before the shopping ended, she did say “Merry Christmas” to him.  Thus, Dave remained optimistic: after all, this Santa was her Granpa. The red suit, spats, hat and glasses came from a costume company, but the smile, voice and beard would be 100% Granpa. Dave and I arrived in Statesboro on Thursday afternoon, and Granpa tried on the outfit then because he planned to play Santa at two daycares on Friday, one being hers! “Daddy, No, I no like him!”  Not exactly a rave review!

Dave loves kids and moved slowly the next day when his granddaughter, frightened and crying, clung to Nanny Scarlet. Smart Granpa talked and then began to play ball with the four toddlers there, winning their trust and then handing out their gifts. As the picture explains, the fear turned to wonder and love.
I think about the shepherds, ones we consider highly favored to have received the sky-shattering birth announcement of the Christ child. “They were sore afraid,” says the KJV; the NIV translates that “They were terrified.” As I face a righteous God as presented in the law, terror fills me too. Only when He condescends to demonstrate His grace and mercy, does my fear turn to wonder.
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