My favorite Christmas movie growing up was “The Little Drummer Boy.” It inspired me as a child and gave me hope. I didn’t know what frankincense and myrrh were but when they were given to baby Jesus by three kings who also gave GOLD - it sounded FANCY and EXPENSIVE! I had so much empathy for the poor Little Drummer Boy who worried because he didn’t have a gift to give. When he decided to give his time and talent to play his drum for Baby Jesus, I remember feeling the JOY the Little Drummer Boy felt when the Baby Jesus LOVED his present!
This movie instilled in me, that we all have something special that we can do to make a difference. I actually took up the drums in our elementary school band….it was NOT my talent! I often wondered….what can I do? What can I give?
I think as a child, what I gave most were smiles, hugs, and friendship. I especially enjoyed giving homemade cards and little baskets made with paper and tape filled with violets from our yard to the elderly people in my neighborhood.
Sometimes as an adult, I still feel like the Little Drummer Boy both before and after he gave his present.
I see needs and sadness in the world and I want to help fix it. While I don’t have an abundance of monetary treasure, I do have time and talent. My talent hasn’t changed much since when I was a kid. I still don’t have much musical talent, but I have lots of positive energy and the ability to bring joy through service, friendship, and appreciation of others.
Recently while looking for a new job where I could bring in more monetary treasure, a friend asked me, “Why are you still volunteering for the YMCA after your resigned your Community Outreach position there?”
My answer is this, “I enjoy chairing the YMCA Interfaith Prayer Breakfast because it is like dancing with God. When I let go and let God take the lead, he brings me to the most wonderful people who inspire not only me, but also our community who attends the event. It is a slice of world peace!”
An example of this is last week. I was getting worried that we didn’t have a keynote speaker yet. We usually have one before August 1st and that date was fast approaching. I prayed about it and asked God for guidance. A short while later on Facebook, I saw that Sinbad was coming to Phoenix and doing a fundraiser for Dress for Success -- one of my favorite charities! He was coming on my birthday, July 28th! I asked my husband if he would take me as my present this year, and he was happy to do it.
The day before seeing Sinbad, my friend Cynthia Hardy, who is the co-chair of the YMCA Prayer Breakfast, told me that Sinbad was a preacher’s kid. I could hear the Halleluiah Chorus!!! AHHHHHH!!!!!! I asked Harold Shea at the Y to help me draft a letter to Sinbad on YMCA letterhead to officially invite him to be our keynote. Harold did. A new employee at our Y branch was skeptical that it couldn’t be done. “No way are you going to get a big name like Sinbad to speak at our prayer breakfast.”
I understood the skepticism of the employee because, like The Little Drummer Boy, the YMCA and I have no gold to offer Sinbad.
Before Sinbad’s show started, my husband Jeff and I were seated at the back of the room. In my hand, I held a large manila envelope with my YMCA letter to Sinbad, a program leftover from the 2014 Prayer Breakfast, and a small gift – a “Find Joy In the Journey” tag necklace from last year’s prayer breakfast and a “Miracle” tag that will be given out at this year’s prayer breakfast.
I sat there all night eating, drinking, and laughing at Sinbad’s refreshingly clean and hysterical comedy. In between laughter, I would wonder how God expected me to deliver this letter to Sinbad. I found a Sharpie marker and wrote a short message on the back of the envelope. I thought maybe I could hold it up and wave it…..but I laughed at myself after I wrote it because I was way too far back for him to read it if I held it up. I just shrugged and trusted God.
After the show ended, I spotted Lisa who is the founder of Dress for Success! I asked her if I could stay for the VIP Meet and Greet with Sinbad to deliver a package to him. I have volunteered for Lisa for years and she said yes.
I sat by the stage in a newly emptied chair, and Sinbad peeked his head out the curtain. I smiled at him and handed him the package! I told him there were a gift and an opportunity in it. A few minutes later, Sinbad came back on stage to take pictures. I joyfully stood in line with Jeff… and not only got to take our photo with Sinbad, but also I got to ask him a question: “Do you believe in Miracles?”
Sinbad responded, “Yes I do!”
I responded, “So do I, and that is the theme of this year’s YMCA Interfaith Prayer Breakfast!”
Since then I have tweeted with Sinbad and am waiting to see if he can come. Miracles can happen!
Right now our country needs inclusive events where we all feel welcome and we can celebrate peace and unity. I know God has a sense of humor, and I am certain Sinbad could bring us some joy and laughter at funny miracles that happen in our lives. It would be an honor to have Sinbad share his miracles with us and maybe even lead us in our ending prayer for world peace. (Sinbad, if you are reading this, I sincerely pray that you can join us!)
We have wonderful people in our community from various faiths who will be sharing their miracle stories with us on Thursday, September 15th from 7 to 9 am! Tickets and sponsorships are on sale at the Chandler/Gilbert YMCA front desk, 480-899-9622.