SANTA AND MOSES
Santa stood by Moses.
“It’s really hot, prophet, what with my woollen suit and all… You must be used to this,” said Santa.
“It’s ok, Nich. Go take some rest; there’s some water in the jar there”, said Moses.
Both of them had been waiting near the burning bush. Actually, the bush wasn’t burning; sparks of fire were bolting out of it. Santa was mindful of his appearance and tried to stay clear. His white beard gave him the Christmas appeal and he had no PR agency to back him up just in case his beard caught fire. Already, a spark had made a mark on his broad, black belt.
“Why don’t you take your gloves off, ” asked a bewildered Moses, who himself was sweating more than usual. Standing on top of Sinai during mid-day isn’t as fun as walking through the parted Red Sea.
“Nah, I’m not used to it; I don’t know how my skin would react to this kind of climate.”
Spurts of fire had been coming out of the bush which seemed to be turning brown. “Hey the last time I saw one of these, the bush wasn’t getting burnt, despite the fire”.
“Must be global warming, ” added Santa, trying to help. Moses wasn’t amused.
“So you’re saying you haven’t talked to God?” asked Moses.
“But weren’t you a Bishop once upon a time?”
Moses couldn’t palate the idea that such a popular figure in a Christian tradition of Christmas hadn’t talked to God till then.
“Yes, Moses. but I don’t enjoy a hotline with God like you.You make appearances with God, later Jesus, Elijah. You’re the Celebrity. I pale to significance in front of you,” said Santa, with a tinge of shame to admit that he hadn’t talked to God.
“So does he always do this bush thing, or does He speak like really loud, like with John the Baptist, Peter and all? It’s a different thing to be just human, you know?”
“What am I a Dinosaur? Heh… No, man, this is the only time I’m seeing this bush burning like this, ever since I saw it when He called me. I was wondering if He was showing us a sign. You never know how He goes about speaking to people, but it sure does stun you.”
Santa was amused by the ‘insider’ knowledge Moses shared with him. Being a bishop and later ‘Saint’ Nicholas once upon a time didn’t make one so different from other people after all. He was sweating in his suit and a pool had formed in his leather gloves. Yes, those white gloves are actually leather ones; they give a better grip while holding the sacks full of presents.
The bush was about to be completely burned out. Moses stopped gazing intensely at it and prepared to leave.
“So. .. .” asked Santa, not knowing what the proper etiquette with great prophets was. “What now?”
“Ah… nothing. If He’d actually wanted us to hear something, He would’ve come by now. So do you want to come with me or you have something else to do? “
Santa gave it a thought. After a minute, he said, “You know Moses, I’m not quite ready.” Moses could see his face turn white. Probably out of fear. The fear of having to part with the earth.
“Alright. Carry on, then. But I must tell you that the Lord isn’t too happy with all the things done in the name of Christmas – shopping, meaningless celebrations, drinking… forgetting what Christmas was for, in the first place. And somewhere down the line, you’ve become just a puppet.”
Santa didn’t know what to say. He’s seen all this for a really long time, especially the 20th and the 21st Century. Yet, he had to give presents. He wouldn’t know what else to do otherwise. And having met Moses, Nicholas acknowledged what he always knew – that life is far more important than just money, celebrations, popularity and all the gloss; that there’s so much underneath.
” Ummm… I’ll see you sometime, then?”
“Yes, see you soon.”
“Alright . . . Do u need a drop? I could perhaps . . . ” said a courteous Santa, tugging the slay rope.
“No, thanks” said Moses, “it won’t take a minute.”
“See you then. Cheers!”
They turned to go their own different ways. A strong wind blew over the Sinai. Moses’ hair and Santa’s beard fluttered in the air.
“Hey Nich,” called out Moses, “Did you actually get stuck in a chimney?”
“Ho ho ho…” laughed Santa, relieved that the ice was breaking, ” It was just those Americans who came up with that one. I couldn’t even climb up or down.”
” Ok then. See you soon.”
“See you soon, Moses”. Santa tugged his slay rope and off he went into the sky piercing the wind with his slay, taking a half turn and sailing away.
See you soon. Moses said that twice. That struck his heart particularly hard. What did that mean? Me? The world? Christmas?
In a distance he could see the birds flying towards the horizon. He tugged the ropes again, wanting to reach home faster. Moses. What a person to have met!
September 6, 2009