Soon It’ll Be Christmas

  16 Dec 2016

A very wise and dear friend, whom I deeply respect, and one who encouraged me to keep writing as a sideline career, gave me a perspective that has kept me standing when my world goes tipsy-curvy.  Here’s what she said, “That which you give energy to, you empower.”  [[restrict]

This week started with an earthquake. I was shocked when a rug was pulled fast under my feet.  I lost my balance for a couple of days.  I tend to give people the benefit of a doubt that when I’m the object of conspiracy, I hurt deeply.  I was rudely awakened to the reality of human ugliness   Given that I choose to trust people until they prove me wrong, I tend to experience more earthquakes than norm.  [Some call this attitude, naiveté but I refuse to live in fear].  In the larger scheme of things, I knew deep within me that whether I am part of the team or not does not make me more or less than whom I am.  It took me a couple of days to get my equilibrium back to a standing position and forgave them so I can be free to be me.

It must be cold for those who are devoid of love.  Life must be empty for those who believe they have to find self-worth by exploiting another.

To apply my friend’s perspective, I choose to empower the beauty of Christmas and the fact that I am the object of God’s love.  I choose to think of Christmas trees, decorations and lights, the songs, red and gold ribbons and bows and silver gift wrappers, the parties, Christmas cookies, eggnog, good friends and loved ones far and near.  And, this…”For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.  And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).   I’m intrigued by a phrase in this famous Christmas verse, “and the government will be …

 I take comfort in the One whose shoulders I rest, in the midst of earthquakes!

Eighteen years ago, I chose to believe in the Reason for the Season – even if Christ Jesus is just a myth. Whatever is on the other side of this life, I will have lost nothing.  It is a great way to find that we are worthy of a better life this side of heaven, even if there is no heaven! This is the risk I have to take in my journey of faith.

The sages of old have been saying for centuries, “Life is what we make of it.”  I invite you to come with me to a small place in the Middle East, and see something out of ordinary in the life of a young teenage girl and a gentleman.

The cold wind was howling, cutting through her shawl that chilled down to her toes.  She pulled up the corner of shawl to protect her face when she saw a star flickering in the sky leisurely turning dark.  She rested her hand gently over her swollen belly and felt the baby move that made her heart twinge with an unfamiliar feeling. She looked down at her fiancé walking holding the donkey’s reign in his hand, eyes combing out the area for a safer place to camp for the night.  Joseph turned to gaze up at her face adoringly and mystified, “We’ll stop and camp here so you can rest the night.”   He knew she was tired.  The warmth radiated from the face of a man she loved overwhelmed her heart.  She tried to hold back tears and prayed silently, “I do not deserve this man, O my GOD!  Please keep us safe.”

They left Nazareth with a bigger group for safety but many have hastily moved ahead and left the young obscure couple behind.  They have been traveling for a couple of days.  Today, they’ve been going since this morning without stopping to rest.  Joseph wanted to avoid camping near Samaria.  Samaritans hated Jews very much and might have made life difficult for them.

Joseph gathered some wood to build a fire to keep them warm.  They sat together and shared their last flat bread with some raisins and a piece of dried fish.  He wrapped Mary with the tent blanket and told her to sleep by the fire while he kept watch.  She fell asleep quickly.  He could hear coyotes and other wild animal grumbling not very far.  Once in awhile, Joseph could hear a mountain lion growling that made the donkey nervous.   He watched Mary sleeping peacefully with her breathing as the shadow of the flames danced on her face.  In the still of the night, he reflected on the events in the past several days that turned his life into something that was out of his control….his life was no longer his own – the angel visiting him in his dream and the baby Mary was carrying… Sighing he said to himself, “Someday it’ll all make sense to me.”

Joseph was about to doze off when he thought he heard music overhead.  He looked up into the night sky and was amazed to see a canopy of glittering stars. He tried to speak but words won’t come….

Soon it’ll be Christmas! [/restrict]