I couple of weeks before Christmas I was out shopping and saw this Santa Claus suit. On a whim I decided to try the suit on and decided that if the suit fit I would buy it. I had some ladies at the fitting room help me put it on and what do you know, it fit and I didn't have to use any stuffing either. They cheered me on and told me I better not take it off because kids were already watching me and they would be so disappointed if Santa Claus just disappeared. I peeked around the corner and sure enough there were kids with their eyes just lit up because they saw Santa. (Side Note: Can you image the look on our face when we finally catch a glimpse of Jesus.) I thought to myself "Why not?" I ended up having the time of my life walking through the store with kids and a few ladies giving me hugs and telling me what they wanted for Christmas. I decided right there that I was just going to go around all day pretending to be Santa Claus. I never had so much fun in all my life going into stores and doing my very best at coming through the doors shouting "Merry Christmas" and laughing out a Ho Ho Ho. Even being stuck in traffic couldn’t have been any funnier with kids and adults alike rolling down their windows waving and pointing and yelling out to me "Merry Christmas" and saying Santa can I have this or that?
Later that day I drove home and a neighbor lady a few doors down was on her front porch so I walked up the street and continued my Santa Claus routine. She finally asked "Jack, Is that you?" I was laughing so hard when I pulled the beard off to reveal that yes it was me. We talked for awhile and I told her I had to go and change up because I had to go back out. She asked me if I minded her being so personal by asking where I was going. I told her no I didn’t mind and that I had a support group meeting for survivors of sexual abuse to go to. She looked at me then and told me we had something in common, that she herself was a victim of sexual abuse. She went on and told me her story and I could see it still had a painful effect on her many years later. I could see the pain in her eyes as they began to tear up as mine did to and I just gave her a hug and let her know we are survivors and some of us don’t even make it to be our age. She then told me her brother had also been a victim and didn’t make it for he turned to drugs and was no longer with us. By now she and I really had tears flowing and I told her that is why I write and advocate for S.N.V. Inc. This is a problem much deeper than most will admit.
I wish I could stop there, but a few days later an old friend of mine called me up and was very shaken because of the suicide of a man he knew and he needed to talk. It was late and I told him I would come over right if he needed me but he just asked me to pray because he knew I had an understanding of life deeper than most he knew in his circle of friends. The next day I decided to go visit him. The ex-wife of the man that killed himself was there, and as we all talked I learned that the man lived a life of turmoil because of being sexually abused as a child and could never shake it. I looked at her and understood so very much more in just an instant. By the grace of God it could have been me. The lady was so broken by the situation and by her eight year old boy being without his daddy. I did my very best to comfort them and prayed for them and asked myself what more can I do?
It is with a heavy heart I write this, this Christmas morning. If I can say anything to anyone, I want to say to you that you can make it if I can make it. I’m a survivor and I have a joy and a peace and happiness in my heart. I used to not be that way. My wife of 19 years used to say time and time again with much concern in her voice that I was so miserable inside but I could never express why. God has given me strength to tell you why and that there is hope. I don’t need to put on a Santa Claus suit to be happy. I am happy. Learn more about how you can be more than a victim of whatever is causing you to be unhappy in life. You don't need Santa Claus. Call, write, or visit me or S.N.V. Inc. today. Thank you and Have a Very Merry Christmas.
Article Jack L. Stoskopf