Thursday, December 24, 2009
Less Hallmark, more Real, please
You know it didn't snow in the Bethlehem region, right? They didn't really have little glowing halos around their heads. The lovely couple most likely didn't wear the blue of royalty, and "no crying he makes?" Get real.
It wasn't a silent night, either. Tons of people, overcrowded homes all over the town of Bethlehem, the chaos of a young woman giving birth, the rumor of the situation, stinky, dirty shepherds knocking on the door in the wee hours, animals-it was not what we try so hard to make Christmas into. Let's make these people different than us, more holy, if you will. I try to keep Christmas at a distance. I have tried over and over in ways big and small, to wrap up this story, neat and tidy and put it in a lovely gift wrapped box. I don't want to let God out of the box, because I am in control right now and I happen to like it this way. Well, I'm not really, but at least I know, or I think I know what's going on...
Every year, love spills out of the box for me and I succumb. I start to think that my crazy busy times are somewhat like what Mary and Joseph's lives were like. I pack, make food, travel, sleep in different bedrooms than my own, I inconvenience people, deal with relatives, all with little ones in tow. I have traveled pregnant. May I just say-Yuk. I worry about what I bought, what I'll wear, and I argue with the kids to dress up, I said too much, I got fed up with so-and-so. Dang, I hate being human.
And here comes a newborn. More sleepless nights, more poo, another person in a small space. Try to contain a baby-I dare you! You change your lifestyle, and that precious little one slips into every part of your life-every one. Most of all, it slips right into your heart, little by little.
My husband says some like to believe it was perfect. Just like reading a book, or watching a movie, we all like to escape. If you need that, please, go right ahead. I think it's an impossible standard that we have bought into-that somehow if we were just more____________ or less_________________, we'd be loved, appreciated, successful, or_______________. Oh bother.
My merry and most sincere wish for you is that you see yourself, in all the joy, fear, happiness, sadness, stress and wonder of the season that you celebrate, and feel the love. May something overflow out of the box for you too. I can't contain miracles. May this beautiful story, Hallmark or not, burst in, like the shepherds unannounced, and shake me from my "dreamless sleep". Happy miracles to you, and God bless us, every one.