I knew my favorite little post office closed at 1pm. I also knew I wouldn’t make it in time when I left the house a few minutes before 1pm on Tuesday. But I piled the gifts I had wrapped and boxed up that morning in the back seat of the car and, hoping against hope, drove there anyway. The desire to avoid the long lines at the other two, more popular post office locations fed my denial.
Sure enough, when I climbed the wooden stairs of the historic building that houses the post office, juggled my packages and jiggled the door knob, it was locked. Of course it was locked. It was now ten after one.
I trudged back down the stairs, accepting the sad reality that I would spend the next hour or two of my life in a slow-moving queue with all of the other holiday procrastinators. When out from the post office there arose such a clatter, I swiveled my head to see what was the matter. (Okay, maybe it wasn’t quite that dramatic.) But there in the window was the postman, rapping on the glass, motioning me to return. Had I just awakened from a long winter’s nap? Or was I dreaming?
My New Favorite Postal Worker unlocked the door and invited me in. He then proceeded to weigh my parcels, efficiently calculating the cheapest way to get them to their intended destinations on time. I kept apologizing for my tardiness and thanking him for his kindness. Less than ten minutes later, I was sailing out the door, mission accomplished.
“Thank you for making my life easier today,” were my parting words to him as I headed down the stairs for the second time that afternoon. Only this time my hands were free. My step, lighter. My heart, warmed.
It was an unexpected act of Christmas kindness.
In the process of mailing my gifts, I was given gifts: He gave me back an hour (or two or three) of my time. He helped alleviate my stress. He lifted my burdens, literally and figuratively.
He didn’t have to do it. The post office was closed. But he did it anyway.
He reminded me of Someone Else who orchestrated the Ultimate Act of Christmas Kindness many years ago. This act of kindness was anything but random. It had been planned for centuries. And the time to unveil it had finally arrived.
…when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared… (Titus 3:4a, NAS)
I picture God a bit like the postman in the window, rapping to get our attention. Seeking us out and beckoning us to come in. Unlocking heaven’s door. Humbly and graciously serving us, though we had done nothing to deserve such kindness.
He did it anyway.
He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. (Ephesians 1:7, NLT)
Yes, Jesus came to bear the weight of our sin, to shoulder the burden of our salvation. When we come to Him, we too receive unexpected gifts: Redemption. Peace. Joy. Freedom. Forgiveness. Grace. And that’s just the start.
We leave His presence warmed. Light in spirit, full in heart.
This Christmas, if you hear Him knocking, might I urge you to turn around? Accept His invitation. Let Jesus escort you home and help you with that heavy load you’ve been carrying. He is more than capable.
And ever so kind.
Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:7, The Message)
Come, let us adore Him.