The Transylvania Times -

Strange Things And A Time Of Hope


Last updated 12/23/2020 at 4:44pm

My neighbors have seen some strange things this year.

Having school with my son using sidewalk chalk and our driveway as the blackboard.

My son in his blow up pool with a parade of cars wishing him a happy birthday.

Myself, in that same pool, holding a beer and slice of pizza as people did the same for my birthday.

Our garage has been transformed into an extension of our living room with folding tables and camp chairs, which have been brought out into the sunshine to enjoy the warmth of the day.

Recently, my wife brought a large paper sack home from church with my name on it, leading me to immediate suspicion. Suspicion confirmed, I wore the contents of that bag as one of the Magi bringing gifts to Jesus for a virtual Christmas pageant. Forgetting that you’re dressed as a Magi is interesting when you go to get the mail.

Of all the Bible stories seared into my consciousness, few relate the experience of hope as much as the Magi. With gifts in hand, they wander a desert hoping to find a king. What they hope he’ll accomplish is lost to history, but it must have been something important.

Whatever their reasoning, the ramifications have leapt forward 2,000 years. Celebrations and special occasions have been moved outside. We’ve found ourselves outside for no more reason than a change of scenery. For myself, it’s largely been out of a spirit of hope, of maintaining my health and sanity, knowing that better days will be upon us.

In some ways, I feel like the Magi. Wandering around in the desert/ dumpster fire that has been 2020 looking for something akin to hope. Hope in things as large as a vaccine and an end to the daily death tolls from COVID-19, to things as simple as giving a friend a hug or passing them a biscuit at the dinner table. In the meantime, I’ll leave gifts not as fancy, but certainly more edible to people I love.

Chad Wentzky

Greenville, S.C.


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