-2018 Pat Cox
All of us old enough to read have memories of hearing these words spoken by our parents—both mother and father—during our growing up years.
I’ve just finished reprising my most important role as a little theatre actor by playing in the stage version of that Christmas classic Miracle on 34th Street. Because this is not an action feature nor a musical, the story is not familiar to most children. But for two months of rehearsals and five live shows, I got to be Santa Claus or Kris Kringle. Playing this dual role for three years is always touching for me. The opportunity to speak to so many children who readily seek a hug or a kiss from or to Santa is my reward along with seeing their sparkling eyes. Their faces are filled with immeasurable wonder and excitement.
Those of us who know the storyline are familiar with Susan Walker, the little girl who didn’t believe in Santa because her mother had forbidden her to believe. Santa realizes what Susan needs is an “infusion of imagination.”
In Act 1, Scene 5, Susan bargains with Santa for her Christmas gift as she asks for a house and a father to live in it with both she and her mother. Susan catches Santa by surprise when she says either you are Santa or just a kind man with a white beard. And Santa counters Susan by replying to her request “If everyone got what he or she wanted right away, life wouldn’t be as much half as much fun.” That’s not a line any child would want to hear. Or many adults either. Susan, however, in the end, did get her wish.
Eight hundred years before the birth of Christ the prophet Isaiah proclaimed, “But to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6) Eight hundred years is a long time to wait. But wait they did.
Even now we wait. We know the script, We know the story, We know the characters. And most importantly of all, we know the Author. And he has provided a happy ending for us and all who choose to accept the gift found in a manger in Bethlehem so long ago.
The great Joy in this story is that we too have a house, a home, with a Father to live in it with us. An earthly house… and then a heavenly home.