it’s continuing for me. Or maybe it’s just beginning. It was a different holiday for us this year. We had to work and we wanted to work – there are so many projects to still get done around here! (And yet, here I am.. 😉 This was the first Christmas that we were not with family. We had a lovely day with friends on Christmas day, though. Of course, I forgot the camera…
So the wonder.. I have been thinking about that night in the stable in Bethlehem, so long ago. As I listen to “Silent Night” I think to myself, “I wonder how silent that night really was?” What with Mary giving birth and a new baby hitting the musty, barnyard air.. How did Joseph handle the circumstances? I imagine a stable was not part of the birth plan… And what about all those angels? Angels appearing to shepherds in the fields: singing, rejoicing, proclaiming, making all sorts of racket! Beautiful racket.. I would love to hear that racket.
As we sat with our dear friends and our turkey dinner my thoughts kept wandering. I was holding a fussy Willow and trying to balance Ayden crawling back and forth across my lap to his chair to Ben’s lap and back and friends just kept piling food on my plate. More of everything! And when the bowls started to get low they were miraculously refilled with still more! And my thoughts wandered across our street to my neighbor, single mother, a child in the hospital in Guadalajara 5 hours away. I had seen her and her babies on Christmas Eve. Her boys were eating the fruit that falls off the trees outside, I’m not really sure what it is but I’ve never heard of eating it. Their clothes falling off, their dirty faces. Her little girl came to see if I would buy a hand painted clay sunshine. My neighbor looks away and says, “We just have to trust God, you know? Trust that we’re in His hands and He’s not gonna let us go.”
Jesus came for her. I told her that. Jesus came to the dirty, crowded lives of people like us. He came so that we would be enabled, through Him, to reach out and grasp hold of the Father. So that we could climb into His hands and know that He is never gonna let us go.
I don’t know how to help. I am scared of the hungry eyes that I can only satisfy temporarily. I frequently have a bad, selfish attitude. I get frustrated with my husband and my kids. I get homesick for my family. And I pray. I’m reminded that it’s not about presents or food or even family and friends. It’s about this amazing day, a long ago day, when a Savior was born. Just like Willow was born in June. Mary held her little baby close and smelled His new baby smell – was there still a scent of heaven on His skin? It’s about Him.
And Simeon knew from the beginning. “A light for revelation to the Gentiles.” A light for me and for my neighbor and her hungry babies. So I keep wondering and I’m holding on, not wanting to let go of this thought, this truth: Emmanuel.