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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Word for the Day (Advent #3)

Today’s Word:  Story.

Hey, do you watch the Christmas specials?  Maybe you like the animated Frosty or Rudolph.  My kids, when they were kids, enjoyed the “Claymation Christmas.” 
            There are the classic stories in movies like “It’s a Wonderful Life” or “Miracle on 34th Street” (I like the original) or “Elf” (a more recent classic).
            Of course the season is full of stories, starting with the one for which the season is named.  At our home we read that story every year and try to visit about it just a little bit.  We ask questions like “Which character in the nativity would you like to be?”
            And, of course, there is Santa Claus.  You might think a chaplain doesn’t like Santa Claus.  Oh, Santa is fine, though the materialism and extreme debt might not be so good.  But do you know the original story of Santa Claus?  Check it out and tell that story about a man named Saint Nicholas of Myra (fourth century Christian Bishop).  He was a great gift giver to the poor and his legend includes paying dowries for three daughters of a devout and poor family so the three would not be tempted to be prostitutes.
            Yes, there are stories.  But you have them too!
            One of my great privileges is to hear the stories of the patients I serve.  What marvelous stories!  And how important to tell those stories.  These stories make up our lives much more than the things we own or do.  Telling these stories is our way of bringing the past to the present and into the future.  And listening to the stories of another person is the most affirming and honoring thing we can do. 
            So tell your stories.  Don’t wait until Christmas or some sad family gathering.  Tell your stories now.  Laugh and cry about what strange turns life has taken.    

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