I was in the kitchen crying today. Not because I almost burned the soup...nor because we had to register for healthcare coverage that we can not afford to pay for but we can not afford to live without...not because the sewing machine that makes quilts, gifts and an extra income died...not because the hospital bills came and we feel the crushing weight of them. And that business that we bought is struggling...and the picture window is falling out...and...the neighbor's dog just keeps barking....and the neighbor growls even louder...and my head is pounding...and my heart is aching...
No, the tears spilled and the sob rose in my throat when that bear of a man I married rested his hand in the small of my back and prayed...for me. I felt the warmth of his arms, wrapping me in his love. And I leaned in to him, gathering strength from his embrace. I felt the life of whispered prayers...the God who hears them infusing me with His comfort and strength once again.
And then I saw the tree...the Christmas tree standing in the corner, with its lights dark, burnt out and broken...and I realized that is me. I am burnt out; I am broken and old and tired....lifeless on my own.
And I need the Light that never fades, that never burns out, that never stops shining to shine His Light in me. I don't need another shiny ornament on a brightly lit tree or a tinsel star, a gift all wrapped in pretty paper. What I need is the Reason we wrap pretty presents and hang pretty lights...I need Jesus. I need that Babe who was born so long ago, that Child who was laid in a manger, the One who stepped out of Heaven and wore flesh...because He is the Light that shines even in the darkest night. He is the One who writes His hope in the hopeless places. He is the One who makes all things new...even the broken and tired, the old and lifeless...even me! In Him is life and light, hope and love, forgiveness and grace. In Christ is peace and joy. Because He took on human flesh and because he suffered on the cross, taking the punishment for my sin, because He died and rose again, I have hope and peace and life.
Christ the Light was born one morn long ago, to bring Hope for the hurting, healing for the broken, peace for the restless, a place to call home to the homeless, joy to the world. Yes, this Christmas season and all year through, may my heart and yours be filled with the light and love of Him who came that holy night. May the new year be filled with His love and joy, peace and comfort. May we know and understand the riches of the Savior's love.