I woke up this morning to a cold, quiet house, slipped out of bed and downstairs for a few silent moments sipping coffee and sifting through the jumble of thoughts and emotions running through my mind. It’d been a long week—belly laughs, bear hugs and time with friends mingled with tears and quiet conversation with soul-sisters who feel the pain of what’s missing at Christmas.
Christmas brings the reality of relational brokenness near and when sadness settles over my soul, I’m tempted to tuck in, dodging chatter that feels hollow and thin. But each year, as Jesus carries me closer still, the sadness descends but doesn’t drown the reality of Love born to die for me.
So this morning, when I pulled muslin curtains open wide to a white blanket thrown gentle over browned grass and twisted limbs, over cars and pavement, as far as I could see, I remembered my second grade Sunday School classroom and saw my eight-year-old self sitting in a metal folding chair, two braids hanging stiff over my red pinafore, singing, “ My heart was dark with sin, until the Savior came in, his precious blood I know, has washed me white as snow . . . .”
Snow—covering gnarled and broken things, transforming ugly into beautiful, reminding me of the baby born to die, to pour out his life-blood for hearts twisted in on themselves, reminding me that the only real life is the crucified life—sacrificing self for the sake of the One who gave everything to help me see He is All.
So this Christmas Eve, as I hear the pattering of feet and a little-girl voice calling, “Brothers!! Look outside! It snowed!!
I am sorrowful, yet rejoicing, having nothing, yet possessing everything, my heart wide open because Jesus lived and died for me.
“ We serve God whether people honor us or despise us,
whether they slander us or praise us.
We are honest, but they call us impostors. 9
We are ignored, even though we are well known.
We live close to death, but we are still alive.
We have been beaten, but we have not been killed.1
Our hearts ache, but we always have joy.
We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others.
We own nothing, and yet we have everything.”
(I Corinthians 6:8-10).