“The eyes are the window to the soul” ~ Unknown
As unfortunate as the events of 2020 were, the revelations that can come from a year such as it was, can be reflected in the soul–searching that the time afforded to us.
Unfortunately, Mrs. Claus and I could not give our all to the children of Marco Island this Christmas season. No sitting on my lap and no close-up small voices stuttering to find what they wanted from Santa. The great joy we receive in our annual ministry, I am sure, was missed by the children as well.
Out of every season on Marco, there are many wonderful reflections we keep, and usually, one or two that are the most special. I can remember Alex Parker’s grandson asking, “How does the sled fly?” Alex and I responded in unison, “The reindeer fly.” That settled it – for the moment at least.
At the 2018 Christmas Tree Lighting, Neil Snyder’s foster child, Lily (probably four years old at the time) kept following us around. Everywhere we went at Veterans’ Community Park, there was Lily, smiling, laughing, bouncing up and down.
2019 was the first year we went to 6L Farms for migrant kids, who receive very little, if anything at all, for Christmas. I still have the picture on my bulletin board of the little girl that would not let go – hugging my leg.
Masks made this year very different, to say the least! The significant event was at Manatee Elementary School, sponsored and funded by Marco Kiwanis. Due to the pandemic, Mrs. Claus and I were forced to sit behind a table outside the school to hand out gifts as 754 children lined up by grade wearing masks. As they came to us, all we could see were their eyes.
I do believe that the “eyes are the window to the soul.” The sheer wide-eyed joy and innocent expressions they shared when they received their gifts was quite visible, as much as their verbal “thank you,” deep in their eyes and soul.
I am convinced that we need to try to just make eye contact more often. It is hard to feel anything negative as we look directly into each other’s eyes. What is seen is amazing! Perhaps there is even some blessing in having to wear the masks. The Manatee children and their eyes were our Christmas blessing.
Santa and Mrs. Claus