Sitting Ten

A Spirited Discussion

Lit was the last to light into the gathering, bouncing across the room, illuminating with a sparkle of personality and flair.

“Sorry I’m a bit late,” he beamed. “I was busy telling a joke to the North Star.”

For some reason, all of the spirits gathered found this completely hilarious–everyone but Everett Green. “Is it possible for you to arrive on time?” grumped the trunk.

“Well, to be completely truthful and on point, there is no time here, so therefore, Lit could have been early and us completely unaware,” dead-panned Kris Kringle.

Everett glared at the jolly old elf.

“I do keep time–as in rhythm,” said Christmas Carol. “And by the way, before I forget, Holly Sprig is unable to be with us today.”

“Why?” barked Everett Green.

“No need to be nasty, Everett,” replied Christmas Carol.

Kris Kringle stepped in to alleviate the tension. “Oh, she’s being a bit of a Mother Hen. Her earthly holly children are in a difficult phase–they’re just sprouting their red berries–and she gets a little fussy.”

Christmas Carol nodded in good measure.

Everett stared over at Santere, Mary and Joseph. “Why don’t they ever speak?”

“Well, technically, they do from time to time,” said Kris, “but they are the older, more experienced spirits of our troupe–over six thousand years of experience among the three.”

“I don’t understand. What’s that got to do with it?” asked Christmas Carol.

“Well, they don’t need to speak anymore. They just pass thoughts from one to another–which speeds things up,” explained Lit.

Everett Green frowned. “Wait–aren’t you older than they are? I mean, weren’t you there at the very beginning of Creation?”

“Yes. Third thing off the top of God’s head. Let there be light.”

“So why don’t you just…think your way along?” asked Everett, still sprouting a bit of leftover perturbed.

Suddenly the arena brightened. “Because I like to beam,” Lit said with a huge glow.

“Pardon me for asking, Everett, but you seem a little bit out of sorts,” observed Christmas Carol.

“Yes,” said Kris Kringle, chuckling over his own upcoming joke. “For an evergreen you seem somewhat blue.”

This caused Christmas Carol to giggle in harmony and Lit to flash and blink.

Everett Green, stung by being made fun of, tried to calm himself down and responded, “I’m fine. It’s just that I don’t exactly get it. And before you ask me what I don’t get, I’ll tell you. Almost all of it.”

Kris Kringle, still chuckling, replied, “Well therefore, maybe it would be quicker for us to discuss what you actually dounderstand.”

Christmas Carol just chorused with more laughter. This time she was joined by Santere, Mary and Joseph, who also seemed to be mocking the frustrated fir.

“What are they laughing at?” challenged Everett, pointing one of his branches in their direction.

“Who knows?” responded Kris. “I guess when you’ve been around for six thousand years, you have a lot of private jokes.”

“What we were laughing at,” inserted Santere, “was how you newer spirits become so impatient with how the whole process works.”

Everett, trying to regain some of his prominence, countered, “Yes, do please explain to us sprouts how this works, because I’m confused. The world is about to give up Christmas in favor of some new name and we spend a few minutes in Dream World with three kids, and then can’t really see what they’re doing, and we’re supposed to dwell in our eternal bliss of ignorance, waiting for these mortals to stumble into some sort of inspiration through their haze of dullness.”

“Yeah, that’s about it,” said Mary quietly.

“Well, there’s more to it than that,” said Joseph.

Kris Kringle moved forward, intrigued. “Tell us more about the more.

Joseph paused, turning to Mary and then Santere, who bowed out gracefully, allowing the Carpenter to spin the yarn.

“Well, I guess they’ve left it to me. Let me explain the best I can using my common-man logic and understanding. We are spirits. Therefore the spiritual is our reality. I was once a mortal. When I was a mortal, I touched things. The physical world was my reality. When people spoke to me of angels, heaven and even the Father, I tried to believe, but hidden in my soul was a gnawing doubt about whether that which could not be handled or seen could actually exist. Now that I’ve graduated to the world of spirits, the entire universe is at my disposal. The unseen becomes my daily view, and now it is very difficult for me to comprehend the physical world. Nearly as impossible as it was for my carpenter self to ever dream of one day talking to an eternal evergreen such as yourself, Mr. Everett.”

Everett Green spread his boughs, trying to understand a bit better. “So you’re saying that because we’re of the spirit world, everything vast, universal, eternal and spiritual seems real to us. And the physical world seems to be…how should I say?…”

“Elusive and unseen,” Christmas Carol trilled.

“Well said,” agreed Kris.

“I am the mistress of lyrics,” she intoned.

Santere spoke up, assisting Joseph. “Because we have had the opportunity to view the workings of the Creator over these many centuries, we have learned to discern small stirrings in the cosmos and interpret them as the real happenings on the physical world of Earth.”

Mary added her heart. “It’s just like when I was a woman, living in Nazareth. When I prayed, I would sometimes feel and sense that my words were being heard and that the answer was on the way. I had no proof, but there was this tickling in my soul that made me believe I had made a connection that was far beyond my worldly comprehension.”

“Well said!” thundered Santere.

“She may have said it well, but I’m even more confused than I was before,” complained Everett.

Suddenly, in unison, Santere, Joseph and Mary giggled.

“What are the three of you laughing about? Can you let us in on the inside joke?” Everett was not amused.

“Well, it was a private exchange,” said Santere a little nervously.

“No, really,” said Everett. “Tell me what you’re laughing at.”

Mary peered at Santere and then Santere at Joseph, who realized it was his turn to pipe up. “Well, basically, Santere thought in our direction that maybe, Everett Green…that maybe…you’re just a pine cone or two short of understanding.”

Joseph could barely finish his sentence before laughter overtook him. Santere joined him and concluded, “And Mary thought that perhaps we should be nicer … and stop needling you.”

Everett Green turned his branches away and pouted. “So this is supposed to be super-spiritual, mature humor.”

“Listen, Everett,” said Mary tenderly. “The more spiritual you become, the more childlike your perceptions.”

“So I guess that would make me the most grown-up one here,” said Everett, green with envy.

Kris Kringle intervened. “Well, I know that we are incapable of arguments–because that would be foolish and beneath us. So let me try to steer this ‘spirited discussion’ in a more helpful direction.”

All the gathered took a deep breath and exhaled, ready to move on and find better thoughts.

Kris proceeded. “Let me try to answer Brother Everett’s questions while simultaneously giving a report on our present situation. I do believe we all understand the limitations. For instance, we are welcome to influence. We are welcome to bring to remembrance. As spirits, we’re encouraged to edify. But as you well know, we are not allowed in any sense to intervene and rob the humans of their free will. If the Father wouldn’t even consider stepping in to rescue his Son when ignorance was prepared to nail him to a cross and terminate his mission, we must understand that no toleration will be granted for us to manipulate the minds of men, but rather, to use their hearts to try to enliven their sometimes-dormant spirits to be hopeful again.”

There was a hum of agreement among the spirited gathering.

“So what should we do, or perhaps I should ask, where are we in all of this?” sang Christmas Carol.

Santere spoke up. “When I was alive as a man, they called me wise. It took dying to find out how ignorant I truly was. But there were little pieces of knowledge eternal which peppered my temporal mind. Those exist today in the people we are trying to help. Let me assist those of you who are younger in the spirit to understand what is going on, and update you on the progress. We have found three children whose hearts are prepared to take a nightly dream and turn it into a vision of activity.”

“How delightful! What are the names of the little ones?” shone Lit.

Everett, still stinging, countered, “Excuse me, Lit. Are you ever depressed? Do you ever lose sight of your goal?”

Without any pause whatsoever, Lit replied, “That would be foolish. After all, everyone’s heard of being ‘lit up.’ But not ‘lit down.'”

A great laughter filled all the heavens over such a silly reply.

At length, Santere continued. “Now, as to the children. Let us know them by their first names. There is Harry, Shanisse and Golda–three very different children of God, who have just enough connection with the supernatural that they’re able to believe that it can be translated into their natural planning.”

Everett Green again spoke up, hoping to overcome his image of growler. “So explain to me, what do they know, what can they do and what can we do?”

Joseph piped up. “I’ll take the first question. What do they know? Just that they’ve been given an exciting idea in their dreams, which right now is still intact in their conscious minds because nothing has come along to steal their belief.”

“What can they do?” continued Mary. “Now there’s a good question. Many spirits have become aggravated throughout the eons of time due to rushing human beings toward some sort of completion. Here’s what they can do if they don’t lose faith: they can stall things. Get people to think better thoughts. It’s similar to when a few souls questioned slavery, and eventually slowed things down enough that others could catch up with their hidden angels and realize the truth of the universe–which is that no one is better than anyone else.”

Santere paused for a moment, allowing the beauty of Mary’s words to have the honor they deserved. “I guess it’s up to me to answer the third question. What can we do? We can do exactly what the Son taught us. In our patience we possess our spirit. Yes, we can lose our spirit by becoming impatient with the human beings that God loved so much that He gave His only Son. What we can do is continue to offer encouragement, opportunity, mercy and just a few simple signposts which will remind those who are working diligently among mortals that they are not alone. Hope is real, faith has a substance and the answers are on the way.”

Kris Kringle stepped in. “If you will allow this old Dutch toy-maker to offer a bit of advice, I was once one of the human walkers myself, and still understand their situation. We all must remember that doing good is not difficult. It just is viewed by evil as being self-righteous and by those who are starved for the good as being not enough. One piece at a time. I know some of us may feel foolish for believing that three children can affect a world of calloused grown-ups, but it will only be the faith of the young that will save the spirit of Christmas, as it took a single new-born babe to bring angels, shepherds, wise men and a star together at the same time, in the same place.”

There was a sweet silence that followed the speech of the one called Santa Claus.

“Won’t we need some sort of grown-up?” asked Everett, trying not to be cantankerous.

It was Lit who offered a final thought. “There is one. Such a precaution has been taken, and another soul who has not been tainted by the passing years has also been enlightened.”

“Who?” asked Christmas Carol.

“All in good time, my dear,” said Santere. “It is our joy as spirits, if we learn our mission, to not be in any hurry for human beings to become smarter.”

Join us on Sundays for this delightful fun-filled novel in the making!