Mouth open, I gaze in wonder at the display. Traffic rushes past, horns honk, and a bellhop in a long gray coat tweets his whistle to snag a taxi cab for a departing guest. Oh, this is no Super Eight we’re at…
Whoosh, whoosh. In we go through the revolving door. ‘Cross marble floors and the brightest Christmas lights. Up to fifth in an elevator with golden doors. Then we whisk, breathless, down a marble hall lined–just lined–with holiday brilliance.
To the right, a grand dining room with a ceiling up to there, elegant chandelier glistening, and a Christmas tree that towers over it all. Somewhere out of sight, a piano plays, and a group of carolers in period costumes winds ‘tween tables, stopping to sing for the evening’s diners.
Dorothy. We are seriously not in Kansas any more.
Without flicking a lash, I answer her question, “What newspaper would you like delivered in the morning?”
“The New York Times,” I say breezily, as though I’ve done this a thousand thousand times. As though the country mouse is really a city mouse. Just as though the Lively Girl Who Actually Lives in a Farmhouse is in her natural habitat here in the Marble House of Luxury. Just. Like. That.
We’re in town on a business trip. As Mr. Schrock attends meetings, listening to one of the nation’s foremost economists, I’m out adventuring. And all around and up and down, both here in our hotel and out on that famous street in Chicago, I see them. The tall, thin, elegant ones.
“All the tall, rich people in the world live here,” I say to The Mister. He laughs, sidestepping a tall, thin gentleman in a tie and a long coat that sweeps down to there.
“Don’t you feel intimidated?” I say, peering at him. “Like we’re fakes and phonies and we don’t belong here?”
He, my calm, steady husband, is rock like when it matters. “No,” he says it plain. Puts it straight. “Rich people don’t scare me anymore.” Aha. He’s told me this before, but I never tire of hearing it. But I am sick and tired of feeling intimidated, feeling “set out to the margins.”
And so. And so! This is what I do. There in the heart of the Windy City. In a premier hotel just off of Michigan Avenue, I pick it up. And I put it on–the mantle of royalty. Passing over marble slabs; as bellhops come for luggage. As the maids slip in two times a day; and as attentive shopkeepers roll out red carpets, I remember who I am.
I’m a daughter of the Most High King. Adopted. Fully chosen. Beloved. A princess!
My Father, see, He says I am loved. He says that I’m righteous with a hope and a future. And oh, by the way, you should see all HIS wealth. Then this: all that He has, it’s mine, too.
Wearing this mantle of His love and approval, carrying His name, His smile, His favor, I pass it right on. “Merry Christmas!” I beam to startled folks in the elevator.
“Merry Christmas!” I say, smiling, to the bellhop by the door. “You did a great job! Merry Christmas, and thank you,” I chirp to the shopkeeper who’s helped me so kindly.
To the maid in the hall (“thank you for your hard work”) and the lady in fur. To the concierge towering many heads high above me. To whoever He brings on the streets of Chicago, I carry my Christ and the joy of the season, and I share them in love.
‘Cause I know, yes, I know who I am.