Archive | December, 2011

Christmas Eve

25 Dec

They were not the Christmas Eve services Currier and Ives would have featured.

The pianist got ahead of herself and skipped past the advent carol. Behind us, a baby in a too-prickly Christmas dress screamed like a Banshee. The overhead screens with the lyrics to “We Three Kings” got stuck on the first verse, which meant it sounded something like this…

“Hmmm, hmm, hmmm ON BETHLEHEM’S hmmm. Hmmm  hmmm hmm hmm CROWN HIM AGAIN… hmming hmmm-er hmmming ever, Hmmm hmm hmm hmm hm hmmm, O-OHHHHHH! STAR OF WONDER, STAR OF NIGHT…”

Blocking my view of the Nativity play, the woman in front of me  and her bedazzled Cowgirl hat. The communion loaf did not want to broken, leaving the pastor to awkwardly wrestle it into submission. The baby kept screaming.

And in the midst of it, the sacred moments still came. “Silent Night” by candlelight. The remembrance that “unto us a child is born, unto us, a son is given.”

Holiness in the middle of chaos. Divinity dwelling among our imperfections. Emmanuel, God with us — not despite our failings and falling-shorts, but because of them.

A perfect Christmas Eve service, after all.

 

 

Dear Holiday Gift-Giver

22 Dec

Thank you so much for your thoughtful purchase of a sand art kit for the childrens’ gift exchange.

Kudos to you for thinking outside the box, and purchasing a gift that fosters artistic expression and creativity. It provided hours minutes a couple of seconds of quality time for our child, who enjoyed making sand art creations for everyone in the family. My husband and I are thrilled with the new bedside table art pieces cluttering up  cheerfully adding to our bedroom decor, and the dog is most appreciative of his as well.

We wish for your family the same wonder and joy this holiday season, and would like to return the favor.

So perhaps you could swing by with your vacumm?  And while you are getting the @#$%& sand out of every available surface of the living room, we will be happy to bring your little angel to the music store to get him or her a drumset.

Thanks and Merry Christmas!!!!

 

The Child on The Bank

1 Dec

I have not been blogging because I started teaching. And I have so many stories to tell. But they are not my stories alone, so they are not mine to share. But this, I will say.

Every day, there is a child, sometimes children, that are out of my reach. And it is like watching someone caught in the rapids of a flood-swollen river. Waters treacherous, cold, and murky. And from the bank, from a bridge, from a raft, sometimes from waist-deep in the water, I just can’t get to them, can’t pull them in where it is safe. And in their choices and circumstances, I find my heart breaking into a million tiny pieces.

Every day too, there is another child, sometimes children. And the angle is just right, my reach just long enough that I can catch their hands, pull them in, and we get back to shore. Winded and exhausted, but triumphant. Safe on shore, we shake off the chill and laugh at our victory over the rapids. Untouchable in that moment. Invincible.

All this I expected.

But every day, there I also another child. This one stands on the bank, and while I am in the middle of the panic, the reaching, the worrying, the trying? This child grabs me. This child steadies me so I can reach a little farther, try a little harder to reach the child caught in the current.

And sometimes, the child in the water yesterday is the child on the bank today. Sometimes, those we rescue, rescue us.

This blessing, not given gently, is what makes me walk in every morning with renewed hope.

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