The Christmas lights twinkled as a familiar Christmas scene played out.
“Mommy, when is Christmas going to be here?”
“Can I open a present now? Please?”
“Close your eyes, Sweetie, and morning will come much faster.”
Unbeknownst to mother and daughter, two men dressed completely in white were, at that very moment, floating in air inches from the ground peeking in their window.
Olivia muttered to herself, “Mady’s dreaming of candy canes and baby dolls. I, on the other hand, have work to do. Where is that To-Do List? I don’t need it anyway. Ryan’s the list-maker. I miss him so much, Lord. Please keep him safe in Iraq.”
As soon as Olivia dozed off, the two men burst through the wall, both carrying a big load of presents.
“What’re we doin’ here, Gabe?”
“We’re leaving presents under the tree.”
“Everybody knows Santa isn’t real.”
“Santa’s not real but the Big Boss is. Hurry up before she wakes.”
Olivia slowly opened her eyes and stretched her aching body. She rose from the floor where she had fallen asleep wrapping presents.
“What’s the use, Lord? I’m tired and my heart hurts from loneliness. If it wasn’t for Mady I’d skip Christmas this year. I’m empty, useless without Ryan.”
Olivia’s eyes grew big. There in front of her were nine brightly wrapped gifts. A card sat beside the tree:
Dearest Olivia, I know you miss Ryan and it doesn’t feel right celebrating Christmas this year. I wanted to give you something to cheer you up and remind you that your Father loves you. Only unwrap the one with your name on it. Love, Daddy
Olivia rubbed her eyes and pinched herself.
“I’m not dreaming. Oooh, the gifts are so pretty. I can only unwrap the one with my name on it. Unless some are for Mady, surely they’re all for me. I could shake them like I did when I was little.
Olivia plopped herself down cross-legged amongst the presents. They were so big that, if people were watching, they would think she was a snooping child. Olivia picked one up and shook it then pressed it against her ear. She quickly set it down and picked up another and another.
“The card said I could open the present with my name on it but this blue one, it’s so pretty. Just a little tear in the corner; yes, that’s what I’ll do.”
Once she began to tear the paper, something came over her and she ripped at it with great anticipation. Out tumbled a host of spiritual beings. The room filled with both good and evil. Olivia cried out. She felt a pair of glasses slip onto her eyes. With the seeing came understanding.
“I see the evil; out – in the name of Jesus!”
Olivia spoke with such authority that the evil flew out the window.
She quickly taped up the box. Again she looked for the present with her name but a box called out to her and she couldn’t resist. As she opened it, she began to speak in tongues. She unwrapped another and she began to interpret what she had just spoken.
“These gifts are not for me.”
As she unwrapped the next, electricity flowed through her body and all her aches and pains were gone.
“I wouldn’t know how to choose who to heal.”
The pile was getting smaller but her curiosity grew larger. As she tore open another, Olivia felt herself transported through space and time.
She laid her head on his knees where he sat in the hot desert sun. He went about his business, not knowing she was there. Startled at nearby gunfire, Ryan stood up, knocking her to the sand.
Knowing what Ryan had to endure was more than Olivia could handle.
“Please take me home!”
With that, she was in her living room, all miraculous powers gone.
Tentatively unwrapping the next, Olivia began to prophecy. She heard herself say that Ryan would be safe. That’s all she needed to know and she rewrapped the gift. Finally understanding that only the one present was hers, she found her name and sat with the gift.
As she tore into the package, she was filled with an amazing faith. Peace flooded her body and at last she was able to rest.
Olivia awoke to a rumbling down the hall and an excited little girl jumped into her lap.
“Mommy, it's Christmas!”
“Yes, Mady, it’s the best Christmas ever!”
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