When All Is Not Merry & Bright

Today’s Word:  COMPASSION

Today’s Time of Stillness:  19 minutes

“Here is the world.  Beautiful and terrible things will happen.  Don’t be afraid.  I am with you.” – Frederick Buechner

They amaze me with their courage; these friends who deck the halls with holiday magic or thoughtfully select the most perfect gift, while the ship of their life is being tossed up against the jagged rocks of cancer or addiction or loved ones whose pain or problem they cannot fix.  Tossed and turned.  Some days relentlessly so.

How is it I can get completely undone simply by losing the edge on the scotch tape roll or discovering I can no longer fit into last year’s jeans, while these battered souls continue to put one foot in front of the other on journeys that feel far from the “fa la la la las” of caroling and holiday cheer?  Yet still they find ways to sing.

They are all around us.  People whose hearts are breaking, whose worlds are spinning, whose trees have come crashing down and splinters of hopes and dreams and fears are scattered on the floor around them.  People tucked in among the choirs and cashiers, neighbors and shoppers.  Longing to feel the deep sleep of heavenly peace.  Hoping for hearts willing to prepare them room… room to cry, to laugh, to vent, to forget for just a moment.

As you sit in stillness this Advent season, may their faces come to mind; and may God prompt you to respond in a way that allows love to cast out our sin and enter in; to be born in us today.

And if by chance the face that you see in the stillness is your own, may your gift this Christmas be wrapped in the presence of the one whose birth we anticipate, who is already here, beside you.  Immanuel, God with us.

“Here is the world.  Beautiful and terrible things will happen.  Don’t be afraid.  I am with you.”  – Frederick Buechner.

For Those Who Are Struggling

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