“When God speaks, you know His voice. You bow down to authority.”
Although I met Dale in a rather conventional way (a friend of my mother’s), her story is anything but conventional. And her testimony of walking in complete obedience to God begs to be told. Here’s a sneak preview – it involves a Santa suit and a sign. I don’t mean an omen; I mean a handwritten sign. Curious yet?
So a couple holiday seasons ago, Dale was in a funk. The economy was bad, the news was bad, people were hurting and broke around her, she wasn’t feeling in the “Christmas spirit,” and it’s the day before Christmas Eve. She’s just talking to the Lord, telling Him “I don’t know what I can do to make a difference.” He asked her, “are you serious? Because there’s something you can do for Me.” I will insert my own observation/advice here – never say yes to the Lord unless you’re serious. Because He WILL take you up on it.
First, God tells Dale to go and get her Santa suit out of the garage. She had it from a party she decorated for years ago at her work. She fixes it up to fit her, and pulls out her bedazzled Santa hat (a hat she had with several sparkling Christmas pins).
Next, God tells her to make a sign, like a sandwich board. On one side, God told her to write “Jesus is the Reason for the Season.” He said, “you can put whatever you want on the other side.” Dale chose to write, “Be a cheerful giver – Give the Gift of Love” (which she later realized God worked in her to put that down, too). And she wrote the whole thing in glitter glue/paint.
The next day, Christmas Eve, God had her drive to their local shopping mall and one of the busiest intersections in their county. If you’re from Dayton, imagine the light between the Barnes & Noble shopping center and the Beavercreek mall. There was a little triangle island at two of the major streets. God tells her to go stand in the middle. She told me she thought the Lord was crazy – stand in the middle of the intersection, in a Santa suit, holding this handmade glittering sign. She said, “Lord, you’re going to get me killed!”
But Dale went and stood. And the reaction blew her away. People honked, held out thumbs up, and yelled “Way to go!” out of their cars. Some parked and came over to pray with her and thank her. She even spent some time in a local shop afterwards, blessing people as Santa (in total, she was gone almost 11 hours).
Dale said most surprising to her was the teenagers’ reaction. She was sure the young shoppers would make fun of her as she stood there in her suit. But they didn’t. She said of all the groups, the teenage shoppers were the most excited and supportive of her message.
As Dale recounted this story to me, she and I were both in tears. She said the reaction of all those people was above and beyond worth all the hassle and any embarrassment. And when I applauded her on following the Lord’s leading, she said simply, “When God speaks, you know His voice. You bow down before authority.”