"The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death,
a light has dawned...
"For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." - Isaiah 9:2,6 [NIV]
The Lord Moves in Mysterious Sleighs
By Gene Markland
It was December, and the local homeless shelter we supported had twenty children who needed toys for Christmas. I stopped by the dollar store and found some great deals. It was pleasing to come out with three bags of toys for only thirty dollars!
Later that evening, my wife, Martha, and I stopped by Toys-R-Us with our three-year-old daughter Laura to shop for Christmas toys for her. As we walked through the store and looked at all the beautiful toys, sadness came over me. I was hurt because I wished that I had the money to buy those kids at the shelter more toys. If I were rich, I’d buy those children fine toys from Toys-R-Us, instead of the inexpensive ones I purchased earlier.
I knew I had done my best, yet I felt in my heart that it wasn’t enough. So I prayed to the Lord about the situation. My heart’s cry was to do more.
Moments later, as we stood in the check out line, I heard a commotion behind me in the next line. I turned around and there stood Santa Claus! Now this man looked exactly how you’d expect Santa to look. He wasn’t dressed in a traditional Santa suit. He was dressed in what you might call Santa’s street clothes.
He wore blue jeans, a large black belt with a shiny four-inch buckle, a bright red shirt, black boots that went up to the middle of his calves, a jacket, and a red cap trimmed in white fur. He also wore glasses. I turned to my daughter and said, “Hey Laura, look, its Santa Claus!”
As we looked at him, he turned and said, “Merry Christmas. Ho, Ho, Ho!” He looked so much like Santa Claus that I thought to myself this guy is really committed. Its one thing to play Santa, but he had white hair that had grown down to his shoulders in a glorious mane, and a long white beard that was just as real. He looked like Santa Claus!
He was in the process of making a purchase with a check, and when he opened his wallet to show his driver's license, that was the cause of the commotion. The cashier was stunned in disbelief. He spoke to me and showed me his license, social security card, and credit cards. On his Virginia license was his picture, white beard and all, and the name Kris, Santa Claus, Kringle! His address was North Pole, Norfolk, Virginia.
Like the cashier, I couldn’t believe they were real. “Oh they’re very real,” He said to me, “That’s my real name, Kris Kringle.”
Amazed, I told my wife what I had just seen. Laura said merry Christmas to him and we said goodbye as he left. We left the store and noticed him speaking with a little family, which was gathered around their child riding a mechanical horse.
I was putting Laura into our car on this cold dark December night, when I heard something behind me. Turning around I noticed that an older, bright red mid sized car had stopped behind our car. Sitting behind the wheel was none other than Kris Kringle. He rolled down his window and asked, “How old is the little one?” We replied that she was three and he asked if he could give her a toy.
“Well sure,” we said. I helped Laura out of the car and as we approached his car we could see that his back seat was completely filled with toys up to the windows. There were all kinds of toys, dolls, stuffed bears, and everything a child could imagine.
Kris got out of the car and had a little toy in a plastic bag for Laura. But she had spied an Ernie doll through the window and exclaimed, “Ernie!” So Kris reached into the car and gave her Ernie and the other toy, then wished her a merry Christmas. She thanked him.
He proceeded to pull out a three-ring notebook with his picture on the front. Inside was more documentation, such as a birth certificate, tax records, government records, and other papers declaring him as Kris Kringle.
I told him that this was all great and he said, “If you have a church group or any group that needs toys for children, let me know.” My jaw dropped. I tried to compose myself as I told him we were trying to supply toys for around twenty homeless children at the shelter.
He got all excited, said a couple of Ho, Ho, Ho’s, and jumped into his car. He came out and asked me, “How many toys do you need? Sixty? Eighty?” Then he handed me a form to fill in the blanks by age grouping for whatever we needed. I almost cried. Here I was scrambling around for toys, just wishing that I could give those children more toys, and the Lord let’s me meet Santa Claus!
He opened his trunk and showed me a newspaper article about him and how the Norfolk, Virginia Post Office forwards all the Santa mail to him. He answers every letter. As we stood at his opened trunk, I saw his official Santa clothes, the red suit, neatly laid out.
With that, he got in his car, his sleigh, to leave and as he sat there I said, “Sir, I just can’t believe this. I’m speechless”
He turned his head, and looked at me over his glasses with a twinkle in is eyes and said in a low voice, “He moves in mysterious ways!”
I chuckled and said to him, “Yes, the Lord does move in mysterious ways.”
Then He said, “Merry Christmas! Ho, Ho, Ho!” And off into the night he drove his “sleigh!” Ha! Ha!
A few days later the children at the shelter received a visit, and loads of toys, from a servant of the Lord, all dressed in red. Yes, the Lord moves in mysterious sleighs! Merry Christmas!
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Gene Markland is a Partner Services Representative at CBN, has been in active ministry for more than thirty years. He resides in Virginia Beach with his wife Martha and daughter Laura. Send your comments to Gene.
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