Advent 2016: Pocket Charms

In line at the grocery store the other day, I very uncharacteristically bought a roll of Lifesavers. I ate one and then put the bright, striped roll in my coat pocket as a reminder to myself to lighten up and have more fun. When I was little, my grandparents would send a Lifesaver storybook to our house every Christmas.  I remember the total, flagrant opulence of those. So much sugar all in one place and something we would never buy at the grocery store.

We're all hardwired differently (thank God), so maybe it's not candy you need. Maybe it's something else in your pocket:

A stone or pebble to ground you
A knot of string or yarn symbolizing the beauty of imperfection
A tube of chapstick, reminding you to tend to your own needs
A small, blank piece of paper, symbolizing the freedom to be without goals or plans
A puzzle piece--"I'm complete, just the way I am!"
A dollar bill, prompting you to be more generous than you feel like being
A key --"I'm safe and secure. There is nothing to fear."
A bandaid to remind you that wounds are part of life--and they will be tended to
A feather, letting you float above and around conflict instead of charge into it

Icons, relics, nativity sets, pocket charms, lifesavers--they can all serve to remind us of Incarnation, of mystery taking on flesh and bones. And bring us closer to our Essence hiding under our personality, history, credentials, fears, monikers, and roles.