Last night I had the privilege of visiting with some very sweet and brave kids at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. It was a very casual visit - well, as casual as it can be when Santa shows up. I got to spend one on one time with each of them, and their siblings. I talked about "The Avengers" with one little boy. He was also fascinated with everything I was wearing, and asked questions about who made them. He really liked my belt. It's made of real leather with holly leaves stamped on the top and bottom all the way around, and a very shiny, big brass buckle. I told him that Sherman the elf made it for me about 100 years ago. So it was still pretty new in Santa years. Not only was he inquisitive, but he had a perpetual smile on his face.
I spoke to the sister of another little girl who was a patient there. When I asked her if there was something special Santa could bring her this year, she said "All I want for Christmas is for my sister to come home from the hospital." A tear ran down her cheek, and then she buried her face in my chest and held me very tightly. The moment of silence wasn't awkward. She needed a release I guess. After wiping the tears from her face, I told her that I was proud of her, and what an unselfish and loving thing that was to wish for at Christmas. Then Santa got a present...a beautiful smile from her.
One of the last kids I spoke to had a very sweet smile on her face. She beat me to the punch, and said that she'd already received her Christmas present. I asked her what it was, and she replied - "I got a new heart". I told her how happy I was that I got to hear such great news from her, and that she was one of the bravest people I'd ever met. I left feeling very humbled and blessed that God allowed me to spend time with those wonderful children, and to learn so much from them. I can't wait to do it again next year!