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Finding Harmony in Advent – Day 13

December 13, 2013


Just Two Minutes Later

I was hungry and you fed me, thirsty and you gave me a drink; I was a stranger and you received me in your homes, naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you took care of me, in prison and you visited me. Matthew 25: 35-36 GNB

Every Christmas has a moment—or moments if you are lucky—when the spirit of the season wraps itself around your heart and you feel you have experienced just a little of what Christmas is all about.

Sometimes you have to look hard for that magic moment, dashing between programs and parties, shopping and cooking, errands and work.

On the Saturday before Christmas one year, I helped to staff the Clothes Closet our church operates. The clients who usually come must have been too busy doing errands and everything else, too, because for most of the morning, no one came. That was okay. The other staff person and I decided to go ahead and close up.

We were heading to our cars to go home when a woman drove up. I was a little afraid Jane, in her 80s, wouldn’t be wild about the idea of going back and opening it up again; we were both tired from standing around waiting; both busy with our agendas of things we needed to do yet at home.

But Jane gladly agreed that we should open the Clothes Closet back up, and the woman came in. She was very happy, telling us that she couldn’t come on Wednesday nights when we were also open, because she works evenings. She wanted to get some sweaters—for herself or for gifts, I’m not sure, but I do know that if she had been just a minute or two later, we would have been gone. She would have missed it, and we would have, missed something too: the joy of being there for someone else, just in the sweet “nick” of time.

Have you ever found yourself in just the right place and time at Christmas?
How did it make you feel?


My photos each day in this Advent series feature figures from a handmade advent calendar I picked up long ago at a yard sale. It quickly became the kids’ favorite, and a permanent addition to our Advent collection and celebrations. I hope you enjoy watching the parade of characters on this virtual advent calendar.


This story was first published in my regular syndicated weekly newspaper column, Another Way, see  (which can be used in any local paper; email me for details).


From → Faith

  1. Caro - Claire Wiles permalink

    Another warm fuzzy story of the season
    Thanks again for sharing

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