finding Christmas

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Christmas has come and gone, and like every one before I went into the season with an over-whelming desire to feel Christmas.

Every year I pray that I will be able to feel Christ in all the holiday celebrations. Above and beyond a rather general feeling of goodwill and love towards others I want to be reconciled with Him. To find Him, feel Him, in everything I do leading up to that day we honour His birth. Every year I expect something life changing to occur, some grand manifestation that I am celebrating this holiday for its true purpose. Nothing drastic ever happens, and I am left wondering. Why do I seem unable to find what I am looking for? I, once again, seem to be blinded by the trees as I search longingly for the forest. It is not a matter of Him not being there, it is a problem of perspective.

The tree comes down and decorations are packed away for another year.

I look back at the small and simple, and I see through the rearview mirror what searching eyes did not before.

This thought fills my mind, "I was there, always. Look again..."

He was there in the tin of goodies dropped off at our doorstep. He was there in the madness of dress-rehearsal. As the music rang through the night and people filled the stands, he was there. He was there as the rain poured and the show went on. He was there in the dust and dirt as hands and hearts served one in great need of help. He was there in the stillness of the softly falling snow, one perfect Christmas day. He was there in limbs too tired to go on, yet somehow they found strength. He was in the twilight sky blazing purple and pink. He was there on the floor as brothers played for hours. He was in the baking, and building, and boughs. He was there with those struggling to find the way. He was there in the face of the small child giving their heart-made gifts to those they love. He was there in the birth of a new baby. He was there in the sick beds of family members. He was in the turkey and the stockings. For where there is love He is. And where love falls short - too mortal and weak, yet is longed for, hoped for, asked for, in moments when love seems hard to find, by one aching to let got the hurt and pride and be filled beyond bounds, He is there. He can always be found.

This peace, this reconciliation is not something given gift wrapped in pretty paper. It is found in weary hands, in service, in the beautiful, the blessings, the ugly, the broken hearted, in everything, even pain. He is always there. As our hearts are stilled and our whispers float heavenward in humble prayer we invite Him in, we give away our sins and ask for forgiveness and strength and then........ we hope.

That was what was born that day. That was the gift given to all mankind. Hope.

Reconciliation comes.

He is not hard to find, if we stand where He stood. In humble mangers, with the sick and afflicted, with the weary and down-trodden, where there is service to perform and work to be done, where the most beautiful people are the ones with the softest hearts and shoulders to cry on, and in the hope for a brighter future.

I will endeavor to look with eyes wide open to the beautiful and half closed to the imperfect. I will seek Him in all I do, no matter how insignificant the task appears. I will find the beauty in the day, the sunshine through the clouds, the safety in the storm, the smile under the sadness, the treasures of this majestic world. I will find healing in the hurt and forgiveness in my heart, find friendship along the way, and opportunities to serve. I will find peace in tired bones, the bounty in the laundry, the blessings in the dishes, the abundance in the mess, the joy that is living and the delectation of finding the way, His way for me, to not only a holiday filled with reconciliation but a life, all the year long, for every one that I am given.

My word for this year is find.