Both the FedEx delivery man and the UPS delivery man seemed to race each other from their trucks to front porch after front porch. They almost dropped their packages, unlike the US Postal Service girl. She drove her mail truck to each of the brick mailboxes at the front of the yards of numerous houses along the street. She shook her head as she watched those delivery men compete with each other. She too had a lot of mail to deliver, but she seemed different, not hurried. Her face did not communicate stress or fatigue. Her countenance seemed to say “Have a peaceful Merry Christmas”. What a breath of chilly fresh air amidst all the other well wishers.
Anytime I want solitude away from endless holiday to-do lists, I sit down and listen to George Winston’s December. His haunting piano playing creates a peaceful mood, like freshly fallen snow. The perfect scenario to reflect on what really matters. “The reason for the season”. That is not some cheesy holiday slogan.
It’s true that wise men and women still seek Him. It is a journey worth taking to find and worship the Christ child. The Person Jesus. God’s earthly face. The only One who really, really cares. He did not save face. He faced Hell for you, for me. From the rugged wooden feeding trough where He was laid as a babe to a rugged tree where the question was answered, “How much does God love you? THIS MUCH!” as He stretched out His arms, as sinful man-made nails stabbed his hands and feet, and an evil sword pierced his willing side. Nothing else matters this season or any season. Though this season will end God will not leave…you.
Some folks have already made it Home for Christmas. They sojourned from this ‘ol earth to the very presence of the living God in real time, like my widow friend Elise Payne. I miss her so. Her laughter. Her hugs. Her cards in the mail. Her meals. Her prayers. Her talking politics. Her sense of humor. Her love for Jesus. Her gifts like the picture she gave my family one Christmas.
The Christmas season hauntingly makes me think of people I miss who I shared my heart with. Even more, I envy Elise as I also ache to see Jesus, to look Him in the eyes. Nothing down here really satisfies. As God’s children we long to be Home for Christmas.
I thought I was gonna leave this ‘ol earth at age 54 when I went under the knife for open heart surgery. But since I am still alive, I have to believe I have a purpose, as do you the reader of this meditation. Why not stop and reflect on the gift and complete package of Jesus this Christmas? What have you got to lose? Everything to gain! God gave his greatest gift on a tree and you can give Him the gift of following your life’s purpose in return.
pictures courtesy of “Nelson & his Nikon”