24 December 2006

eve

Although snowflakes are falling, the soul-warming smell of Christmas is in the air, lights twinkle up and down my snow-packed street, burning behind me is the perfectly cozy fire and dozens of colorful boxes are piled high beneath our tree... although the shopping is done, the cards have been sent, the presents are wrapped and the kiddos are nestled all snug in their beds... somewhere down deep, I feel sad.

"Look at the people to your right and your left. Think about the people in your life for whom you are most thankful," Michael encouraged earlier today.

The glaring reality for me in that moment was that there was an empty chair to my left and an empty chair to my right. As my children colored and played in the nursery down the hall and my husband chauffeured last-minute travelers around town, I sat in service alone.

"He has no boundaries... he works too much... I'm trying to understand, but frankly, I'm pissed..." my anger erupted inside, spilled down my face and landed beneath me in a pool of disappointment.
Arise, O God, plead Your own cause...

Paula, Niki, Kristi, Wendy... Paul, Maya, Cole... Mom, Dad, Tolu, Folayo... quickly I scribbled the first names that came to mind as more names flooded my heart and overflowed onto the little piece of paper in my lap... Karen, Dick, Liz, David, Jason, Ava... Lauren, Leah, Juli, Sara, Lib, Vic... on and on and on.

We give thanks to You, O God, we give thanks! For Your wondrous works declare that Your name is near...

Indeed. In that moment and this one, I am bummed. Yet, somewhere even deeper, I feel full. It's not the season or the presents. It's not the cozy fire,
the crisp air or the warm home. It's really isn't even the the family or the friends. It is You.

So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger." And suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

"Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"


3 comments:

Paula said...

What a gift you have my friend. I'm blown away by it often--your gift of words. But you have so many gifts that blow me away. Perhaps the most beautiful to me is how you make us all feel treasured. You are so amazing. Tonight I cradled my scarf. I brushed my fingers across it and wrapped it around my neck, just feeling it's delicious softness and I thought, "she prayed for me as she made this. Every single stitch has love it in." And as I write those words just now I weep.

A few weeks ago I wept and told the Lord, "Look how much I have lost."

"Yes," He agreed, "But look how much you have been given."

And in that moment I knew the poignant fullness you wrote about in this blog (I was on my way to Thanksgiving with you, BTW when that happened.)

Full. Yes. Even in emptiness. Thanks for reminding me.

Anonymous said...

THANKS FOR SHARING HONESTLY---THE LORD WAS PRESENT WITH YOU IN THOSE "EMPTY CHAIRS" BY YOUR SIDE--SO YOU TRULY WERE NOT ALONE AND NEVER ALONE--SO HE PROMISED IN HIS WORDS--SO, ALL IS WELL.
LOVE YOU,
MOM

Leah said...

i love you abi!
merry christmas...