“…after seeing a couple folks shock the eggnog out of me this past book launch… I’m here to tell ya, leave a little space. Go surprise someone with a Christmas snail of your own and then after, get real quiet and listen as ‘heaven and nature sings.'”
In my front yard right now there sits an inflatable Christmas snail. It is my favorite decoration ever. I mean Ever. Why? Because it is completely unexpected. It’s sorta weird. Off a little. It reminds me that life can surprise, bring a smile to my face when I’m least expecting it.
As I think over this past year of releasing my sci-fi romance, Stealing Ares, the highs and lows of it all, what I’m most grateful for is the unexpected. There were a couple of people who quickly and gladly gave my book a nice review that I would have never expected. In fact, to be honest, in some secret little chamber of my heart, I just plain thought they didn’t care for me or my writing. That’s okay, we don’t all have to like each other’s writing, or company for that matter. We’re all different. But how about that unexpected joy when you get surprised, blindsided, if you will, by a moment of kindness and unexpected grace?
If I may quote from a Christmas song—and stay with me here when I tell you that this sentiment is far more ecumenical then it might initially seem—“Let every heart prepare him room.” Well, yes, in “Joy to the World,” the author is speaking of Christ but, in a broader sense, I’d argue every heart can prepare a space within itself to allow for surprise. To leave room for a kindness we wouldn’t normally extend to someone because we don’t believe there’s a chance in Santa’s sack that same person would do it for us. But after seeing a couple folks shock the eggnog out of me this past book launch…I’m here to tell ya, leave a little space. Go surprise someone with a Christmas snail of your own and then after, get real quiet and listen as “heaven and nature sings.”
A miracle is really just the very, very unexpected. I remember these little miracles and hold them dear. In fact, on my calendar system, there’s a space to leave myself a note. I want to remember the place, the day, that person surprised me. I left myself such a note the day it happened. Why? Because I want to know that I can be wrong. Dead wrong. Gloriously wrong! That person didn’t dislike me. It was one of a thousand other things: hostile resting face, they think I don’t like them, I’m misreading them, etc.
This year I wish you your very own Christmas snail, whatever that may be!