Woman visiting hospital snaps candid photo of Santa praying to Jesus for sick kids

No matter how much you love Christmas, we can all agree that the holiday has become more about commercialization than anything else. Even “Jesus is the reason for the season” is nothing more than a marketing slogan (theologically speaking, Jesus would be pretty horrified that we were celebrating this way).

Flickr Source: Flickr

But as people take sides on whether or not there’s some sort of “war on Christmas” despite the fact that no one – in America, at least – is being stopped from celebrating the way they wish, more and more people are looking for any moment that makes them feel festive. In fact, NOT feeling festive gets you labeled as some sort of “Scrooge,” regardless of whether you think Christians corrupted a pagan holiday or some other group has now taken over a Christian holiday. So much for “peace on Earth” – that wasn’t a good enough slogan, perhaps.

Pexels Source: Pexels

In light of all this, it’s no surprise that this time of year is filled with what people choose to identify as tiny miracles and special moments, especially when someone is “caught” doing something nice. We need to feel merry and bright lest someone think there’s something wrong with us.

That’s why photos such as the one taken by Mariana Whitley Tumlinson make the rounds this time of year. Whether she encountered the scene (as she describes) or staged it, a private moment of prayer is now on social media for everyone to see as a Santa visiting a hospital stopped in the chapel.

Mariana Whitley Tumlinson/Facebook Source: Mariana Whitley Tumlinson/Facebook

Tumlinson is Director of Community and Public Relations at Valley Regional Medical Center in Brownsville, Texas and arranged for Santa Claus to visit the children stuck at the hospital over the holidays. It’s no doubt a moment of fun and levity in what is not typically a fun place for kids.

When Santa asked her on the way out if he could enter the chapel, she knew a PR moment when she saw one as he kneeled in front of their portrait of Jesus to pray. Snap went the camera.

And as is our way in the 21st century when we see something nice, we put it on Facebook. Tumlinson’s post has earned over 40,000 reactions and over 43,000 shares in the year since it was posted.

Mariana Whitley Tumlinson/Facebook Source: Mariana Whitley Tumlinson/Facebook

Her caption read:

“I keep getting choked up with this photo. Today, after Santa visited our patients and was on his way out, he noticed our Chapel. He asked if he could go in and pray for the kids he just visited. I, of course, said yes. I didn’t walk In with him right away but when I did I was so moved by this image I had to capture it. What a great reminder of the reason for the season.”

While Santa Claus is at least partially based on a pagan figure, our modern Saint Nicholas is much more closely influenced by the early Christian saint of the same name. So it makes at least some sense for Santa to recognize Jesus.

13th century render of Saint Nicholas via Wikimedia Commons Source: 13th century render of Saint Nicholas via Wikimedia Commons

And for many, the moment provided the reminder they needed for whatever their Christmas ambitions were.

Be sure to scroll down below to see the original Facebook post and all of the comments (for better or worse).

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Source: Mariana Whitley Tumlinson via Facebook