Surely I was bound to have to write this anyway (this is a first draft for probably a series about Christmas the crab) – then I was asked by the director of the local retreat to share for their newsletter. Who knew that the crab gave me a prop that dropped from the sky to share about my weekend and share the love that God has for us. After the sharing wrap up time the director asked me “do you think you could write something up about finding the crab?” I smiled, and said “yes, yes I think I could”, LOL). Who knew God would place Christmas the crab in my sight for His will? God did… Who knew I feel drawn to write? God did. It brings me to tears to know God holds me and directs me, gives me focus and the avenues to share His message. It makes me SMILE bigger than these tremendous flowing tears… It’s God’s LOVE watching and warming our hearts, and we are called to go out to share…
There’s a whole Vacation Bible School Shipwrecked series in my head too that will come out eventually… Christmas the crab has traversed four states so far just in a few weeks, he’s a portable praise to tell a story of being lost then found then cherished.
We are lost and found – and we are ALWAYS CHERISHED!
Christmas is Waiting, 28OCT
How long was Christmas waiting, we don’t know… Maybe he wasn’t waiting at all, he just existed and it was up to us to find him. Maybe our instinctual guidance directed us that way on our walk. We didn’t know it, but apparently God knew we needed to find Christmas. Maybe we just never figure out all the little nuances of life, maybe it’s just fun to listen and watch for God.
A friend and I really enjoyed the walking parts of the retreat – both in the spiritual walking and also in the chance to hit the trails of Camp. A few of us walkers took quiet time to enjoy this exercise which keeps us young physically and young in marvelous appreciation of being spiritually out in God’s great creation.
Camp is an old friend, a compact oasis of retreat facilities and woods in a sheltered setting. Up the hilly trails, a friend and I took off, a chance to talk. We climbed past the frisbee golf trail, up to where I’ve only traversed on a hay wagon ride during an open house… A fork in the road? Which way to go? She and I discussed and we listened to our instincts and we took a right… Grassy trail towards the road… of course we didn’t want to be late for dinner!
Christmas… What was a Christmas ornament doing out here? I looked and then it MOVED!!! WHAT? The Christmas ornament was no ornament, it was a hermit crab!. How in the world did this floral-painted shiny but muddy hermit crab get out here? In these woods? We could speculate all we want about the camp setting, and who might have thought this crab would be okay in the woods and apparently he was okay for the unknown amount of time…. We even put him back on the trail and let him be. We marveled that we saw this hermit crab but for some reason we didn’t take him with us. We kept walking…
We told the others, who were excited!!! But then we started to think maybe we should have taken him. It was starting to dip in temperatures at night to a seasonal cool, although it had been unusually warm this autumn. We thought he’s not going to survive the winter. We need to go back the next day. Could we find Christmas?
Beautiful Saturday – another spiritual gift of morning and we knew we had just a certain little amount of time before lunch, so we teamed up immediately and up the hill we went. Took a left into that grassy trail covered in gorgeous woods… could we find him? Did he run off? My companion immediately spotted him, like a good grandmother would. Christmas! We found Christmas! Oh YES still alive, still near the same chilly spot… Didn’t want to move? Hunkered down for the cold? Still there, yup, seemingly dropped from the sky.
The people back at camp we’re shocked – half cringed and half clamored to hold the crab – but we all agreed how unusual that the crab was there… how unusual we found the crab (twice)!!! We cherished him, fed him, loved him. Camp crab!
How NOT unusual was the JOY that this little crab brought in an already cherished retreat situation… How NOT unusual was that we, who had been focusing on God’s direction for our lives all weekend, knew it was more than just luck that we had been led to find Christmas the crab. There are no accidents… Why us? Why then? Why not??? It’s just normal for God to tweak the system… God provided us for this crab, and God provides all of creation, including crabs, for us to LOVE and nurture… Scripture tells us to nurture nature, watch over and protect.
In hindsight, it connects to the scripture “If we did not praise, the rocks would cry out”, and this little painted rock moved!
Scripture tells us to walk… And reminds us to always be aware of those around us, we are walking with Jesus even if we don’t know it. God could have walked us right over Christmas the crab too and we could have been distracted and wrapped up in our own problems but it was up to us to notice him. And he moved! Not exactly the same, but similar is how God has placed Jesus in the world for us!!! Jesus came and He is still here for us to notice him. Listening to the Holy Spirit guidance is another gift from God – for us to keep walking as we work for our Father – and are called by the Great Commission to spread the Good News. Jesus came for us – we must pick up on the clues that God puts right in front of us – it is up to each person to accept the gift of Jesus – the kingdom of God is the kingdom of the heart. We can do our gifted job to point Jesus out to others. We can share His LOVE. We pick up the tools that God has given us and we use them with our spiritual gifts for reaching His Children to know Him better in this world.
Christmas is waiting for everyone.