One year for Christmas I was sick on the couch of my grandparents’ home in Southern California. We had long awaited this trip to see them and I was disappointed to find myself snuggled up in blankets, watching the festivities from the cushions. But as I remember back, the specifics of my sickness and disappointment start to fade away. I mostly remember how I felt as people looked after me, sat by my side and included me (as much as I could be included as a sick girl.) Most of all, I remember that I felt loved. My body had slowed down to recover and in the process, my heart had the time and space to see what was most beautiful. I am loved.
This Christmas, my heart feels drawn back to that day. Not because it was the best Christmas or the perfect Christmas but because it is a Christmas that speaks of the imperfection and beauty to be found in this day.
I think today, like any other day, there is good and there is hard to be found. Like that Christmas, where I found myself sick on a couch, there is bound to be disappointment and difficult things today. Whether it is heartache, sickness, loss, grief or disappointment that strikes today, Christmas does not mean a free pass for the pain that follows us in life.
But I’m grateful that the pain is not all there is to be found today. There is also much grace to be had. As Robert Farrar Capon says in The Supper of the Lamb, “A man can do worse than be poor. He can miss altogether the sight of the greatness of small things.” I think today, like any other day, we have a choice.
A choice to look for the greatness in the small things.
A choice to find the beauty in the mundane.
A choice to see life for the grace that it is.
A choice to ask our hearts to listen for the ways that we are loved.
“Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness; touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.”
Friends, this is my prayer for us, all of us. Whether today is more pain and boredom or excitement and gladness, may we choose to look for grace.
May we have eyes to see beyond being sick on the couch to how loved we are.
May we believe that the longings and pain of today are not the end.
May the gift of today be a reminder to our hearts that all life is a grace.
May the pain and disappointments fade in the knowledge that we are loved, truly LOVED.
Merry Christmas, friends. You are loved.