Since Paris was rocked by the horrendous attacks Friday night, we have all felt the fallout. The personal, the political, the social media wars raging over refugees many were not even aware of a week ago.
Hearts are heavy, friendships are straining under the weight of diametrically opposing viewpoints, and we move day by day closer to the original refugee story - the one around which Christmas revolves.
The birth story of Jesus begins with two strangers in the night, trying desperately to find refuge, being repeatedly told "No room at the inn." And yet somehow in that desperation, shelter is found, and an incredible story was born with that baby - wise men, gifts, angels, a star.
That story is the original tale of giving. Of welcoming. Of open hearts, hope, joy.
I have focused on it much over the past four days. Yes, my overtly religious days are behind me. But the meaning found during this season is not. The lessons are as alive as ever. It is why I first asked this community to come together and help others. Because there is need. There is sadness attached to that need. And behind every email I receive there are children. Children who have no control over the economy. Children who did not ask for their lot in life. Children who simply want what so many of our children have always been able to take for granted.
That at this special time of year, as carols ring out, as brightly colored lights twinkle, that someone remembers them. That the magic still available in the hearts and minds of the innocent can happen for them, too.
With each email I have received, all I see is the request for hope. The desire to make even the tiniest bit of magic for a child. I don't see politics. I don't see memes. I don't see anything but what we all are when stripped of the noise and conflict and brought low by life - human beings who are hurting; human beings who are hoping that other human beings will extend a helping hand.
The days are flying by as this holiday season approaches. If you can help bolster our Yes, Virginia coffers, I promise to make every cent do its utmost to make as much magic as possible. The link is always open that explains our fund. And donating is as easy as heading to Paypal and entering firstname.lastname@example.org.
We can do this.