The snow fell on Sunday and covered the ground with a pure white blanket, and our daughter arrived home from her semester abroad in London. I had talked to her the day before on the phone – she was in bed with the worst possible cold; her packing complete, she simply didn’t have the energy to get out of bed even for meals. As she told me about the medications she had taken with no effect and the looming 22 hour trip home the next day, she broke down in tears.
Throughout the night I tossed and turned, worrying about my firstborn flying across the ocean with a severe sinus infection, and thinking, of course, about all the worst-case possibilities. As I lay there, I began praying to a God who has, in recent years, felt increasingly distant, aloof or maybe just capricious in response to my prayers. My prayer that night was a simple one, “God, if you really do reach across the divide from divine to human, reach down and touch this child of mine and give her healing and comfort.”
The day passed agonizingly slowly, starting with a 5 am call from the airlines telling us that her flight, already long, was being re-routed and delayed significantly. Throughout the day I worried and I prayed – and we waited.
Just shortly after 10:00 that night we saw our daughter walking down the airport concourse, with a calm, glowing smile on her face. As I hugged her, I asked her how she felt – she looked wonderful. She said, “Mom, it was the weirdest thing. When I went to bed last night I felt awful, but when I woke up I felt fine – it was like a miracle!”
The snow covered the ground that night, as the grace that is Christmas once again came to earth and touched a child.