It was Christmas Eve and all was right with my world. The 3 bros flying circus was experiencing a rare moment of tranquility and brotherly love. It was like a scene from the 50’s Christmas classic, White Christmas, except there was no snow (we live in Southern California).
Our weathered minivan was transformed into a Cathedral as six of the most important people in my life (including me) were singing Christmas carols in three-part harmony. My mother, my three boys, handsome hubby and I sounded like angels (and surprisingly behaved like them too) as we joyfully transitioned from one carol to the next.
Influenced by the Christmas Eve message we had heard in church, followed by our annual trek to view some over-the-top Christmas lights and decorations, we were giddy with Christmas cheer. With the last notes “sle-ep in heaaaa-venly peace” still lingering in the air, Caleb (breakfast zombie) asked – with tears in his eyes- “Does Santa really know who is naughty and who is nice?” My handsome husband replied, “Yes Caleb, he does.” Caleb, now sobbing, blurted out, “I have something to confess!”
My heart stopped. The formerly festive van now seemed to be moving in slow motion. What could my eight year old son possibly have to confess that would be troubling his soul so profoundly? I wasn’t sure if I could handle hearing his confession. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to hear his confession. I definitely wasn’t sure I wanted his confession to occur out loud in front of his entire family, including his granny.
We sat silently as he continued. “You know how every night you ask me to brush my teeth?” Handsome hubby and I replied slowly in unison, “Yes.” Caleb continued sobbing even more “Well, I don’t do it. I just go into the bathroom and turn on the water and stare in the mirror. I don’t brush my teeth at night when you tell me to, but I say I do!!! Boo-hoo-hoo-hoo!!!!”
Granny, handsome hubby, and I, now relieved of our anxiety, had to fight back tears of joy and laughter. Fully recovered, handsome hubby, who is a pastor who weekly proclaims forgiveness to repentant sinners said, “Caleb, thank you for that confession. We forgive you son. God forgives you and, yes, Santa forgives you too.”
With all hearts cleared and Caleb now relieved of his burden we continued our drive home in cozy silence. As we drove off into the starry night I reflected upon the power of confession, forgiveness and our acceptance of the amazing gift that we would celebrate the following morning. The Christ child of whom we sang about in our van was the very same one who provides us with the ability to sleep in heavenly peace, knowing that whatever we do, we can be forgiven, accepted, and loved.