As I sit here typing, my stepson J is watching a movie he received for Christmas. I hear snippets of laughter coming from the den. Music is seeping under R’s door across the hall. I sit here thinking to the tune of Madison (my cat) bathing herself and Paddington and Britta (our dogs) settling in on my bed for a long winter’s nap. I think to say we are all a bit tired is an understatement. Christmas encompasses a level of energy that I find hard to sustain. Content describes how I feel today. I am becoming at peace with my Lord. It has been a week of lessons for me. And a present that came to me without a big bow or glitzy paper.
A kind person from church relentlessly sought me out for a coffee date – I am shy and had she not gently nudged, I would not have shared that cup of Joe. During our visit, she expressed what messages she had come away from Emmaus with – one resonated like a soft wind chime and has vibrated within me all week – that God loves me where I am. I do not have to order my whole life before I turn to Him and in fact it will hardly work if that is what I try to do. I find myself almost always trying to do that. When I have myself totally together then I will be good enough to have a relationship with our Father. How silly is that? I will never be good enough – it is through His grace and that I am saved and by His stripes that I am healed. Praise you, Lord Jesus.
Flash forward. I knew NYC would be a blast for many reasons. I didn’t know I would receive such an important, inspiring message from Les Miserables. I believe Dave and I have had several conversations – almost one per day – since the curtain went down on Les Miz that night. What an amazing story of grace and redemption. I would like to be more like Jean Valjean. and then there was the Charmin bathroom in Times Square lest I forget to tell you. To try to impart what a joyful place this public facility is will just fall short. But suffice to say, that in a beautiful city where public restrooms are scarce, Charmin has provided a clean, happy place and shared joy in what could just be a plain Jane bathroom. Just google Charmin restroom Times Square or look for it on YouTube – I was floating away with joy for a couple of hours upon leaving there.
Flash forward, yet one more time, to the Sunday before Christmas and our beloved Pastor Max’s sermon. I will do a great disservice to trying to impart the message but at a very low moment he helped culminate the week’s worth of lessons with the assurance that our God can be trusted in things big and small whether it makes sense or not and that when we give our lives over to Him there will ultimately be a happy ending – not necessarily in this life. What an amazing gift I have been given this Christmas – a greater understanding of God’s love for me. I owe Him so much – I owe Him EVERYTHING.
So as I come down off the ribbons and the bows, the egg nog and the spiral ham – I am still savoring and processing that little babe, born in a stable – a Christ child for all people – even me – even a sinner like me.