By Bob Perks Bob@BobPerks.com
He had a twinkle in his eye. The kind of sparkle only a child could have at this time of the year.
Everyday he would ask his mother to bring him to the mall to see Santa. Each time she did he would stand on the side and watch the other children, but not visit Santa himself.
"Is Santa real?" he asked a child nearby.
"I hope so," she replied. "But my big brother says he's not."
"Mom, is Santa real?" he asked of her.
"What do you think?" mom replied.
"I just want to know the truth," he answered.
And so he was on a quest for the truth that year. Everyone he spoke with over the last few weeks was confronted with the same question..."Is Santa Real? I just want to know the truth."
Grandpa, Aunt Julie, the teacher at school, the mailman, the bus driver, the grocery clerk and a few perfect strangers were all a part of this great adventure in search of the truth.
It wasn't that he was concerned about not getting gifts for Christmas, he really wanted nothing much at all.
Then one day he did it. He stood in line and waited to see Santa.
"Some toys, whatever you might have. That's it," he told the mall Santa.
"I know you're really not him, but can you give him this note?" he said to the man in the fake white beard and Santa suit.
The man was stunned as he looked to the boy's mother in confusion.
She shrugged her shoulders and smiled. "It's all he wants this year. He wants to know the truth."
Later that day as the man was changing into his real clothes the note fell on the floor.
"Oh, yes. The boy in search of the truth," he said as he sat alone in the dressing room set aside especially for Santa.
He hesitated at first to open it. He had seen dozens of letters to Santa with long lists of "I want..." But this boy wanted very little.
"What could this be?" the man thought.
It was folded neatly in a particular way with the top tucked in like an envelope. Opening it, something fell to the floor.
It was a picture of a soldier.
Unfolding the note all the way he read:
I want to believe in you. I want to believe that you make wishes come true. I told the man at the mall that I wanted some stuff for Christmas and asked him to give this note to you.
So many of my friends say you aren't real. I don't know the truth. But I can't take any chances. What I want this year is too important.
I have asked God to help me, too. But I don't know if he's real either.
I want my Dad home from the war.
One of you has got to help me.
The man sat nearly breathless as he wiped away tears. He held the picture in his now trembling hand and looked into the eyes of the man this boy loved so much.
"You are the answer to his prayers," he said.
Over the next few days he hoped that the young boy would return. Constantly scanning the crowd he looked for the boy in search of the truth.
It was Christmas Eve just minutes before they were to close. The man smiled one last smile, patted one last child on the head and stood up to gather his things.
"Santa!" he heard off in the distance. "You did it! You are real!"
Turning around he saw the young boy standing there. His heart now pounding deep in his chest, he nervously replied, "Well...it's you! The boy in search of the truth."
"You did it!" the boy said.
"I did what?"
"You brought my Dad home!" he shouted.
"But..." then looking up he saw a man in uniform approaching, walking hand in hand with the boy's mother.
Santa began to cry.
"I have done nothing," he said as he knelt down near the child.
Then looking around to make sure all the other children had gone, he reached up and pulled off his beard and hat.
"The truth is I am just a man," he said. "But I prayed to God for you. You had said that you asked God and Santa to bring your father home. You wanted to believe in one of them. You wanted know the truth. Well, God is the truth. Your love for your father and mother is the truth. You are the truth," the man said.
Then rising to his feet he looked at his parents and said, "Love is all you need to believe in and God is Love!"
My friends, itís not enough to know the truth, you need to be the truth.
It's not enough to pray for our soldiers to be safe, you need to pray for peace for all the world.
And that, my friends, is the truth!
"I believe in you!"
Bob Perks Bob@BobPerks.com
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Submitted by Richard