Wednesday, December 21, 2011
I can't help it. It's been 22 years ago and it is still my favorite Christmas photograph.
Can you see the excitement? Can you tell which one just found the Santa stash, which one knows a secret and which one is about to pop with giggles? Where did those days go?
Someone said I became a writer the year I wrote my Christmas letter and described the blue lights high up on a snowy hill on our farm in Kentucky. That was a hard year. My mother had died and I was missing her Christmas traditions that I now try to keep going in my own home. I was sad and nostalgic, letting my heart travel to new places, unfamiliar places. A new depth entered my realm of thinking. I could embrace the pain and in embracing it, something transformational happened. When I decided to share my sadness and loneliness with others through writing, it became a fragrance for others to receive. Little did I know I was being prepared for other events that would take me even further in my journey of life. Gifts come in mysterious ways, that is for sure.
I guess I would ask you this Christmas: Have your life events moved you in a direction of transformation? Oh, I love hearing about your experiences: births, weddings, trips and accomplishments, but I wonder more about your thoughts and how you love your family and friends. Tell me what is was like when you lost your job and your neighbors rallied round. Tell me what is was like when you were told there were no more treatment options. Tell me how you long for your son or daughter to return from war or estrangement. See, what happens to most of us is this: when the hard days come we shut down, retreat, worry and refuse to share our hurts. Pride closes the door to transformation while others wait for your story. There is always someone who needs to smell the fragrance of human life by simply sharing a memory, remembering a special time, talking over a concern or maybe, just being silent together.
May these days of our coming Jesus explode in wonder and grace as you ponder his gift. May you find hope when you think there is none, peace when you feel unsettled, and love always abounding. Just for you. May you share the excitement of Christ in your lives and rejoice with laughter like children anticipating Christmas Day.
Merry Christmas, Marcia, Mike, Owen and Blair