Thursday, December 2, 2010
Two days ago, I worked at the computer, fine tuning talks I will deliver during December and January. All day long I looked out at the rain and the wind blowing against my window. All day long I felt cold and shivery. But it is okay because it is December. Christmas is around the corner. A little snow mixed in with the rain would be just fine with me. Tis the season, right? But when I opened the door I was shocked to feel the warm air. It's wasn't cold outside. It was warm - like spring. In fact, I looked around in the garden and saw daffodils sticking their heads out of the ground. What is going on? Will winter ever really arrive? Have I missed out on my very favorite season?
This morning, looking outside from my same view, the sun is peeking through the trees and it looks warm. But I am not deceived! I have opened the door, stepped outside and it is bitterly cold. The ferns have crispy frozen fingers and the birds are quick to gather their breakfast and take cover.
Oftentimes things aren't always as they seem. We sit in our climate controlled homes and look through a window, thinking we can tell what is going on outside. We don't bother to go out and read the thermometer or spend some time in the elements. We just think we know the temperature because it just simply looks cold from our perspective. We are quick to judge. We shudder and turn away. And we stay behind our glassed-in walls.
Don't we do that to each other in our relationships? We observe from a distance and assume that this or that is the case. We form our own opinions and we keep the glass between us so we don't have to take action. We say, "OH, I am not going around her - or him. She's in a bad mood or he's irritable or she's not even nice. I can tell by the look on her face." And before we even give the person a chance - step into their world - we walk away from what could be an enjoyable encounter - all because we thought our own thoughts were correct. No matter that the person was thinking seriously about a project. No matter that the person was a million miles from the present and needed time to reenter and put on her "happy" face, her approachable face.
This Christmas, don't be deceived. The longing that each of us feel in our hearts is a longing for relationship. The Christmas encounters we engage in can be meaningful or Scrooge-like. It is our choice. We can quickly make up our mind that others are indifferent and really don't have time for us, so we beat them to the punch by deciding for ourselves how it will be - protecting our own egos. And most times we are wrong. We become the losers. We close ourselves away behind the glass walls and focus on ourselves, our fears, our insecurities. We have lost out on what we long for - a relationship. When relationship is nurtured, it can change our perspective; it can become an hour of great conversation, an afternoon together, a trusting friendship, and ultimately.....love.
Love comes at Christmas. It is what Jesus teaches us. Someone said the other day that the song most requested by adults is "Jesus Loves Me, This I know." And we think it is a song for only children. Love comes as a baby - fragile, new, needing care and attention. Love reaches out. Love grows up and takes on responsibilities. Love demostrates the ultimate, taking on pain and suffering. Love dies and rises to new life so that we might love and live too - forever. Love says, "Joy to the World, The Lord is Come!" And Heaven and Nature sing. No deception. No false assumptions. No glass walls. Just love.