Evil will riddle anxious sorrow unless smacked with deep, healing love.
My daughters woke up one Saturday morning ending my journal time and proudly proclaiming a pajama day. Both in their Christmas footie jammies, they vowed to eat chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast and begged to watch “White Christmas.” A touch early by some standards, but hard to say “no” to adorable little girls in Christmas footie pajamas.
“Mom,” my oldest pleaded, “can you PLEASE get the Christmas stuffed animals out?”
Yes, they have such an obscene number of stuffed animals that we pack a portion away in an attempt to make room for them to sleep on their own beds. The “Christmas” stuffed animals remain out of sight…and out of mind…for the most part. However, the longer my darling Brianne spends a part from her coveted Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the more anxiety she has about needing it immediately. Call me a Saturday morning pushover; because I made them their pancakes and headed down to the crawlspace to dig out the reindeer.
Sweating, and muscles cramping from being curled up to reach far away small spaces in search of Holiday craziness… I stopped mid-search to ponder the sad reality that Paris was waking up to that same Saturday morning.
The same agony felt by countless souls scattered around the globe blindsided by the same unfathomable realms of evil. It seems to overwhelm every place once treasured safe.
I needed Christmas cheer that Saturday morning. I needed that reindeer.
“Here it is!” I proudly proclaimed as I carried a giant red tote up the basement stairs and let it land in front of my girls.
“They’re all here!” they screeched. “Rudolph!” my Brianne sighed as she hugged her old friend.
“The Grinch!!!” her little sister gasped, as she ran up to find an appropriate outfit for her furry green buddy.
The last request filled with “White Christmas” playing in the background, my daughters snuggled up and checked out into the winter wonderland of yesteryear.
The nostalgia of Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney singing “Snow” on a train ride stirred up feelings of joy as I pictured my Grams singing in her kitchen at Christmastime. The beginning of the movie is set in wartime, with a scene of soldiers overseas.
It’s a different kind of war we’re fighting today.
It’s hard to picture what kind of scene we’ll be looking back upon generations from now. Each one worse than the next. The more unthinkable the conflict we deem unimaginable, coming to pass nonetheless.
In a world where my seven year old fears a “lock down” more than her school catching on fire.
I need a “White Christmas.”
Yes, it’s old fashioned. I’m the annoying one who could listen to Christmas carols all year long, and cannot wait to sing them at a very high volume dancing in the kitchen or on the way to school with my kids. There’s a note of hope and kindness in those songs….an unashamed proclamation of the hope that Jesus brought when he was born. Visions of Santa Claus landing on the rooftop, the Grinch stealing presents, and a boy being left home alone. I love it all. Nonsensical as some of the holiday rush can be, there is always a lesson of truth hidden within yet we dare to unwrap it.
“What if I couldn’t find my sissy,” my daughters asked me after lock down drill day, tears streaming down their faces.
I can’t find the words to describe that moment.
My oldest daughter gets “belly aches” just thinking about it. Their teachers eyes fill up with tears at the thought. It’s a gut-punch as a mother. A hopeless sense of innocence lost too soon.
I feel it, too, that ache for Jesus. For Him to come down and replace everything that evil has crushed and tried to stomp out.
I need Christmas. Yes, it’s important to give thanks in honor of our founding fathers. But maybe, in this rapidly deteriorating world, it’s most important to give thanks to the God who inspired their trip across the ocean in the first place. The one who’s very namesake appears in the name of the holiday.
The good I glean from the over-commercialism of Christmas is celebrating the gift of Christ to the world a little sooner.
More time for cheer.
More time to think of others.
More time to pack a shoe box.
More time for more people to hear about His birth.
Pass me a red cup.
If children are no longer encouraged to believe in magic, how will they ever know what God means to “have faith like a child?” (Matthew 18:3, Luke 18:17) What sorrow to think many still do not realize they can cling to Him…
“When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe; but when one stronger than he attacks him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and dives his spoil.”
Jesus IS stronger.
“Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.”
I’m WITH Him.
“Hearts will be harder,” stated Beth Moore in referring to the natural direction our hearts will lend to if we don’t specifically aim otherwise.
Especially after lock down drill day.
Especially after Paris.
Some days I just want to cling to my children over sending them off to school. I realize that clinging to Christ is the only way I am able to drive away after they jump out of the car…“strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” Ephesians 6:10
Clinging to Jesus as the aches and sobs well up as I drive away.
Clinging to the dream my daughter and I crafted when she was two….to share a trip to Paris someday.
We’ll keep dreaming that dream…yes, we will. And though I ache for Him some days in sorrow and in fear, I have the hope that He left on the cross to cling to.
I choose to keep a death grip on love. I’m positive on purpose. I study His Word for encouragement.
“And you know the way to where I am going.” John 14:4
He is joy.
And it can’t be stolen.
Not by another…not by terror.
“We are wise never to overestimate or underestimate Satan’s power. But even though we are no match for him, he is no match for God….God is biding His time until His kingdom calendar has been accomplished and all who will receive His salvation are redeemed….Jesus Christ is going to take back what Satan has stolen from us!”
– Beth Moore, Portraits of Devotion, Day 166
Oh, Come, all ye faithful…
Happy Holidays…no wait…Merry Christmas.
“…let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
Hebrews 10: 22-25