How are you this Christmas? I hope the day found you well, for some definition of well. Whether you spent it opening presents, wrangling sugared up children, cheering up surly teenagers, singing blearily in Church, curled up sick, dozing by a sickbed, alone or frustrated or happy or sad or all of the above.
I spent my Christmas Eve struggling through a migraine, my short temper setting off the equally short temper of a three year old with a bad head cold. Thankfully my oldest has gotten to two of three services, and my husbands stomach flu has subsided enough that he could fulfill most of his responsibilities. Today so far, I sang Silent Night at 3 AM with my youngest. I made a Christmas breakfast that left us all sticky, and we all joyously dressed in our Christmas best for the morning service.
But the weather outside is truly frightful.
Dragging my children 100 yards to church through 40+ kph winds set off a coughing fit in the still-sick 3 year old. When she coughed until she puked twice, it was time to go home, which entailed about ten minutes of screaming just as the service was starting.
So I spent Christmas morning with a sick princess, a new cast on, and Daniel Tiger.
There are many worse things.
I won’t list all the things I’m thankful for today. I’ve listed them for myself. These little hiccups are part of the ordinary texture of a life rich with love. I needed to write that out so I remember it.
Christmas is a feast, but it’s not about feasting. It’s about Gods radical act of solidarity with us in our hardships, both the ordinary and extraordinary. It’s about a message of peace on earth that’s so radical because the earth is a mess.
Jesus came for me, in my ordinary mess. He came for those who are spending Christmas in the hospital, or in prison. He came to those who are sad or depressed or bereaved. He came for the refugees and prisoners and slaves, who are still out there right now. (That link goes to a friends fundraiser for IJM, who works to end sexual trafficking.)
Why write all this? It seems like so much shouting into the void. But it’s a reminder to myself that when I’m feeling low, I am not alone. When I feel alone is when I’m least alone, because Christ came for me. And for many both like and unlike me. We have a togetherness and a likeness in Christ, not because we are good or holy, but because we are suffering and loved.
For some reason, that’s what is comforting to me today. That, and giving thanks for our many blessings. We’re building puzzles and skyping with family today, maybe a few of us un-sickies will go to a party, and I’m sure we’ll all be fine for tomorrow when we do presents. May Christ’s presence be made known to you today and each day.
Merry Christmas. Do you have any best/worst/this Christmas stories you’d like to share?