“Christmas already?” I laughed as I meandered through the busy Wal-Mart. It was noon on a Tuesday and still I dodged at least three people in each aisle. Maybe they had the day off too. Oh well. The thought escaped me as I almost collided into a young hyper boy running from his mother. She yelled after him, but all he did was run farther. I could still hear them as I continued farther into the Christmas section of the store. I loved the cute dancing reindeer and the goofy Santas. Even if it was the middle of October.
“Where’s Jesus?” I heard a young panting breath ask me. I look down and saw the now pink cheeked boy peering up with me with his hazel eyes. His brown hair sat messily above his head. He seemed to have been running a while. I looked around for his mother but she was no where in sight. If she didn‘t show up, I would take him to the front. “I think him and Santa would get along good in here.”
“Maybe He’s allergic to reindeer.” I shrugged.
The boy giggled. “Jesus can’t be allergic to reindeer.”
“Why not?” I teased him.
“Because He’s Jesus.” He affirmed.
“Good point. I forgot.”
“John!” His mom appeared at the end of the aisle. “I’m sorry. Is he bothering you?”
“Nope. We were just becoming friends.” I smiled trying to calm her nerves. With a closer look, I realized that she was pretty young for having a son that older. He couldn’t be more than ten. She couldn’t be more than late twenties. They shared the same hair and eyes. And the same smile.
“She said Jesus was allergic to reindeer.” The boy accused. “That’s why He’s not on the shelf with Santa.”
She seemed to be caught off guard by the sudden randomness. But her confusion seemed to quickly recover itself. She had to have a lot of practice with this boy. “Why do you think he’s not on the shelf with Santa?” She quizzed him.
The boy thought for a moment. “Maybe he’s already there. We just can’t see him.”
“What do you mean?” I asked John.
“Well.. In Sunday school, they said He’s always with us. He has to be with Santa too right?” John seemed to be proud of himself when the two of us were left speechless. “We can’t see Him, but He’s always there. So maybe there’s an invisible Jesus on the shelf.”
“Do you think he can dance like Santa can?” I pointed to one right behind the boy’s head.
He turned quickly to look then back to me. “He’s Jesus. He can dance better then anyone. How do you think He guides famous dancers?”
I couldn’t help but laugh. John was right. This kid was pretty wise. The mother took his hand. “Thank you for watching him for a minute.”
“He’s a smart boy. Don’t forget that.” I couldn’t resist telling her, but she seemed to already know.
As we parted ways, I made a mental note to myself not to forget John and his wisdom. ‘We can’t see Him, but He’s always there.’ Those words will echo though my head whenever I need them. Jesus didn’t need a dancing doll to remind every one of his presence in the Christmas aisle. Besides, he could probably out dance Santa any day. I laughed at myself as I turned on one of the Santas doing a jig.
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