Christmas is always my favorite time of year. I think I just like lights…on trees, on bushes, on houses, on boys’ bunkbeds. They seem to emanate a feeling of peace and comfort. But the end of this year has been pretty bumpy and it’s been hard to capture any peace. It could be the endless roll of medical visits for my three boys (two fractures, bead in the ear, strep throat, medication checks, flu shots) or the endless saga of behavioral crises that my sister’s boys are wrestling with as the year comes to a close.
It could be the pervasive sense of sadness that settled in in early November when less than half of the voters still triumphed. It’s impossible to see any Joy in the one who is to be our new leader, yet who is so far from a Christian role model that I want to shield my sons from all news until this crisis is over.
It could be the deluge of photos showing the reality of hundreds of thousands of innocent people dying in Syria. It could be the feeling of powerlessness as a hurricane wipes out lives and livelihood for thousands in Haiti.
It could be the unpredictability of violence in the neighborhood, the financial drain of a house still sitting on the market, the uncertainty of funding at my current employment.
It could be a lot of little irritants throughout a day. It could be all-consuming disgust and annoyance. It could be boys who squabble, or whistle in the car, or throw remotes in frustration, or roll around on a kitchen floor to trip over when trying to make dinner. It could be the slow slow slow plodding march every….single….night to shift three little brains from alertness to dream state. It could be any of a hundred of weights in a single moment.
But it could also be moments of Peace. (Nah, that’s only when they’re asleep). It could be moments of Love in the notes Mr. Ornery writes to say he’s sorry. It could be moments of Joy in watching Super Tall Guy in his first performance playing the saxophone. It could be moments of Hope in the excitement of The Little Guy waiting for Christmas (and expectantly looking for the elf that the babysitter likes to hide).
It could be all these moments if the focus is in the right place. For there is only One from whom Peace passes all understanding, Love surpasses knowledge, Hope yields eternal life, and Joy fills the soul. Only one.
May we all seek and find that Joy, Peace, Hope and Love this moment, this day, this year and into the next.
Merry Christmas to All!