"Joe-Joe, have you ever seen Jesus?" Myra says. The car quiet between Christmas songs, Myra and Joe talk.
"Yeah," Joe says. Craig pauses the music.
"What did he LOOK like?" Myra whispers.
"Hairy," he says.
"Oh," she says. She pauses, "I think I could run as fast as this car or maybe even faster." She swings her arms.
"Yeah, I'm gonna go to heaven with out dying," Joe says.
"I bet I could go even faster. Look, I could go this fast," Myra says.
"Oh," he says, "yeah."
Craig rounds the corner to the nursing home. The suburban slides sideways. He rallies the engine. Tires spin, and we slurry up the road.
Christmas Day night and we visit Great-Grammie. She cries when she sees us. Joy. We linger, warm cafeteria lights soft around our large family. Residents gather for dinner. The children take turns hugging Great-Grammie again and again. Love, unselfconscious and full as the wings of a great bird, alights on their faces. For a short time our ages disappear, just a gathering of children, innocent, pure, nothing to offer but love.
"Have you ever seen Jesus?" I ask Joe later.
"No," he says, "I mean, yeah."
"Uh, yeah," he says, "when I was DEAD." He nods, tilts his head conspiratorially. I raise my eyebrows; he shrugs. "Then I comed back up to you," he offers.
"Oh," I say.
"You SAW Jesus? When?"
"Um, maybe on Christmas," he says.
"Was it a dream?" I say.
"One time," he says.
"What happened?" I say.
"Jesus had me take a nap with God," he says. He gesture shrugs, a nod of adult mannerisms.
"Oh," I say. He grins, trundles off.
Take a nap with God, simple, light as a down feather. Peace settles, soundless as feathers falling from the sky, quiet as snow. And I see now what Joe does. He trusts. God. Is. Good. Invisible as air, there it is.
5696. We celebrate Christmas again and again with family. We act out love as the story of Jesus, memorize all the notes and turns.
5697. We exchange gifts. We give. I watch the children explode in rapture when family opens the gifts they give.
5698. We receive far more than we deserve. Gratitude, bliss, and humility enfold us.