When he raised his eyes and saw Israel encamped, tribe by tribe, the spirit of God came upon him, and he gave voice to his oracle:..A star shall advance from Jacob, /and a staff shall rise from Israel.
Book of Numbers 24: 2, 17a
Susie and sat I down to watch “Miracle on 34th Street” last night—the 1947 black and white classic film about modern day Christmas miracles. As soon as a little Dutch girl, a war orphan from Rotterdam, lines up to see Santa insisting that HE is the real one, on cue, the tears start streaming down my cheeks.
Off to the side of Santaland, little Susan (portrayed by a young Natalie Wood) stands in wonderment as Kris Kringle surprisingly moves into perfect Dutch. More than likely, he knows Japanese, Russian or Swahili.
Off to my side on the couch, Susie sensed my distress and climbed onto my lap.
The film, adapted from Valentine Davies’ book, reminds us several times of her definition of faith: Faith is believing in something when common sense tells you not to.
Christmas asks me to believe that a small child in Bethlehem fulfilled a prophesy in the Old Testament and began a legacy of love and charity which we still know today. Common sense questions that.
Having two small cats infuse our home with such great caring and love disputes common sense. Having one small cat cuddle up next to me while I hold a box of tissues and watch old black and white movies defies common sense, too.
There’s a little bit of that Dutch girl in all of us. We all want to believe that we really know someone or something is real and honest and true.
As the movie ends, little Susan doesn’t appear to get what she wants for Christmas, but she keeps assuring herself, I do believe, I do believe, I do believe. Faith is believing that we might not get everything we want but knowing we have everything we need.
I have two miraculous little cats to convince me of that.