It’s been another busy week. I’m not sure how that happens when I plan for down time during December. But appointments and events and visitors and lunch dates and driving and preparations have been my lot, not to mention the everyday of keeping the household running as smooth as possible. There are always meals to cook and clean up, laundry to wash and fold, bills to pay, and the ongoing task of putting things in their places.
Life is just busy I guess, the daily-ness of living it out. When I stop having something to do, I guess I will just . . . well, I don’t know what might happen. I pray for strength and a sound mind to keep pressing forward.
This morning, I sit quietly as is my habit, for as long as I can. My two cups of morning coffee have been drunk, the caffeine waking away my sluggish sleep. The gas logs flicker in rhythm to the candle flames of the glass jar sitting on the kitchen table. Maisie dreams on her bed beside me, and Sweet William’s soft snores echo down the hall from the bedroom.
I spot the stray cat sleeping on the cushioned glider outside while it is still dark. He is the scaredy-cat I’ve been feeding off and on for over a year. He disappeared for months and his reappearance this morning makes me smile. That he feels safe enough to sleep and glance up at me through the window that divides us makes me think maybe he will stick around for a while.
I begin to contemplate how I might provide a shelter from the weather for him (or maybe her; who knows with cats). I know I will leave food daily and a dish of warm water. He will reward me by keeping the mice away.
Darkness still shrouds this new day. Nights are long in December. I am already anticipating the 21st. It marks the beginning of winter but also when daylight begins to increase by mere seconds. The lengthening days renews hope. Hope for spring.
While cold temperatures, snow and freezing rain are possible in the coming months, perhaps even tomorrow, spring is coming. I will look for it.
Like the icy cold winter weather, this December has been fraught with sad news. Too much sickness, operations, deaths, heartaches. It weighs a soul down.
In contrast, we’ve had the occasions with friends as the gifts we have treasured. That people would give their most precious commodity – time – to fellowship at the table of communion is the present I value most of all.
As the dawning of this new day begins to faintly light the eastern sky, I am thankful for Jesus. In the middle of grief and pain, the uncertainty of the days ahead for us and those we care about, Jesus is the ray of light in a dark world. He is the constant Good News when we wonder what tomorrow will bring.
The birth of Jesus may not have been on December 25th, and it probably was not, but I am thankful we have set a time to celebrate it. His coming into our world, wearing a robe of flesh like mine, submitting to the frailties I experience, knowing pain and grief like I do, and being the overcoming Savior is cause to rejoice, to throw a party, to commemorate and be glad.
The fact that He came is the hope I need in a world that seems without.
Life on this earth will not last. My body is living proof that the years take their toll. My days are counting higher and counting down at the same time. But I have nothing to fear. Fear is contradicted by the joy that is offered to every person.
The message came directly from Heaven by an angel of the Lord. It was first delivered to a bunch of shepherds doing their job, living out their lives.
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” –Luke 2:10-11
The words are still valid today. In these morning hours while I wait for the world to awaken, an angel’s message brings certainty. A Savior has been born to me. He is Christ, Messiah, the Lord of Heaven, the Infant God, the One promised, the Deliverer, and my Redeemer.
No need to fear. The Word from God the Father has come down to earth, and He speaks love and forgiveness, mercy and grace, peace and joy. This is cause for great rejoicing.
His name shall be called Jesus.