God sent me a bandaid once. That's kind of a bold statement, I know. But as far as I can tell, it's true. I've been thinking about it this Christmas season, because it embedded hope in me, much like Christ's birth does. I've shared this story many times over the last 15 years since it happened. I'll tell it again to explain "the meaning of Christmas."
I was a sophomore in high school having a tough day like some teenagers do. Honestly those complaints (failing history test, fighting with boyfriend) matter 0% today, but they felt pretty big back then.
I started the day praying, "Lord, show me You care." That was all I could squeeze out of my heart.
I also wanted a bandaid. A small token that everything was going to be alright. Like the several years prior when a kiss and blow on my skinned knee from Mom assured me I would be just fine. I wanted to know I'd be just fine, and a bandaid in my metaphorical mind was that assurance.
I couldn't find a bandaid, so I simply went on with my day.
Later in the afternoon, after the failed history test and nothing fixed with the boyfriend, I returned to my room for a nap. Just inside my door was a package. The return address said "Ellie Phunt" (a funny name joked about by an acquaintance) and the box was full of oddity: Pink toe socks, spider rings, travel shampoo, confetti, candy, and more.
I laughed feeling a little lighter that perhaps God had heard and answered my prayer. Then, I read and reread the PS at the bottom of the card.
"PS, I hope you like the bandaid."
Sure enough, there at the bottom of that box of oddity was a single circle bandaid. God answered my prayer to show me He cared, and He did it with precision and flair.
I still get choked up sharing it today, all these years later. God (or that acquaintance) hasn't sent me a bandaid since, but He doesn't have to. An answered prayer like that, a miracle when I needed it most, was enough to embed His hope in me.
And that's a little piece of what I feel Christmas is about.
It's mostly celebrating the birth of our Savior who brought the humbling gift of complete salvation for those who believe. (Read the first 10 chapters of Hebrews for more about what His sacrifice accomplished that the Old Testament Levitical laws simply couldn't.)
But it's also a hope fulfilled to embed hope for what's to come. Because Jesus really lived like the Old Testament promised, then I can believe that He is really coming again for the best gift of all--eternity with Him like the New Testament promises.
That's on my heart and mind going into this Christmas season. Joy to the world, for the Lord has come! Also, joy to the world for the Lord IS coming again!