When he’d gone half a mile or so he met an old woman. She was sitting in the park just staring at the pigeons. The boy sat down next to her and unzipped his backpack. He was about to take a drink from one of his cans of Coke when he noticed the old lady looked hungry, so he offered her some cookies. She gratefully accepted and smiled at him. Her smile lit up her who face.
It was so lovely, the boy wanted to see it again, so he offered one of his cans of Coke. One again she smiled at him. The boy was delighted!
They sat there all afternoon eating and smiling, but they never said a word. As it grew dark, the boy realized how tired he was and he got up to leave, but before he’d gone more than a few steps, he turned round, ran back to the old woman and gave her a hug. She gave him her biggest smile ever.
When the boy opened the door to his own house a short time later, his mother was surprised by the look of joy on his face. She asked him, “What did you do today that made you so happy?” He replied, “I had lunch with God.” And before his mother could respond, he added, “You know what? She’s got the most beautiful smile I’ve ever seen!”
Meanwhile, the old woman, also radiant with joy, returned to her home. Her son was stunned by the look of peace on her face and he asked, “Mother, what did you do today that made you so happy?” She replied, ‘I ate cookies in the park with God.” And before her son could respond, she added, “You know, he’s much younger than I expected.
Is it strange to think of seeing God as a young boy? Is it strange to think of seeing God as an old woman? If you said “yes” to these questions then it will be especially difficult to think of God as a baby! Yet that is what Christmas is all about. About, God taking human flesh as a baby.
So where this Christmas will you look to see God? In the face of the old or the young? In the face of the powerful or in the eyes of a baby – far too young to even smile? Will you see God in the Liturgy, the scripture, the music, the art, the decorations? The shepherds, poor uneducated folk, saw God. The Magi, educated rich folk, saw God.
What about you? Where will you meet God this Christmas?