I spent much of the last couple of months watching Christmas movies. Yes, I admit it, I’m a sap for anything that has to do with Christmas. Now that the holidays are over, I’m very sad that these movies are no longer playing because I love the messages of hope they give. Many of the movies’ themes are about miracles that happen at Christmastime. Truly the original Christmas, the birth of Jesus, was a miracle. But I believe that miracles can happen anytime, not just during Christmas. So take heart, you don’t have to wait until next Christmas for that miracle you’ve been praying for to happen!

The longer I live, the more I realize that miracles are happening all the time and come to us in the form of other people and even the animals. Miracles don’t have to be big things like parting the Red Sea. They can come as answers to our prayers – large or small – in the form of a phone call from a friend just when you needed to talk to someone, being at the right place at the right time to meet a person who will help you find your next job, having a stranger stop to help you if have car troubles, or money coming in just when you need it most.

Animals play just as much a part in delivering miracles to us. Stories abound of how shelter pets have brought special help to their adopters in the form of healing, therapy, and even guidance. That’s what happened to me with my dogs. Starting with Caper, my first Golden Retriever who led me to a new career of helping the animals, all the way through all of dogs including my foster dogs, they each delivered a miracle of some sort to my life. You just have to be aware and look around for them. They could be leading you into a direction that you never dreamed of.

You too can bring miracles to other people’s lives. Every day places us in positions to help one another. But too many of us are so wrapped up in our own problems that we don’t stop to see the suffering of others in its many disguises. Just a kind word to someone can change someone’s day. I’ll never forget the day I was in a hurry when I stopped in the grocery store to grab a few items. The lines were long, and the cashier in my line was particularly slow. As I approached the cashier, I saw a sign that said she was in training. I could see that she was stressed and upset. My irritation at being held up for so long immediately dissipated. As the trainee rang up my order, I told her that she was doing a great job. She gave me a broad smile and said “thank you.” I felt so good that I was able to make her feel good. This wasn’t a miracle but to her, it might have made a difference. What if she was considering quitting? Who knows what she may have been thinking?

The message of Christmas is that the light and love are here for us always, not just at Christmastime. Be the miracle in someone else’s life!

Goodnight Snoopy and Woodstock