Archive for the ‘Pain at Christmas’ Category

Battling a cold, I was awoken at 4 a.m. by a dramatically over-dry house (no this is not a paid commercial for a Sunbeam humidifier). I did what many of us would do. I tried to ignore it and go back to sleep. Isn’t that what we all want the night before Christmas?

I turned and tossed and finally gave in and jumped in the shower and lingered until my raw sinuses felt better. When we were kids, we’d love to get up early on Christmas morning for more exciting reasons than nasal concerns!

But it was interesting that pain became my alarm clock because if it hadn’t gone off, I would have missed a Christmas sunrise to beat the band. It was almost circular; not quite 360 degrees, but nudging toward the western sky. Even the river turned a beautiful red, as if it knew that’s an appropriate color to wear this time of the year.
Well, excuse this radical segue, but parts of the Christmas story exhibit similar experiences to mine (yawn) this fine Christmas morn. First, God seems to use darkness and discomfort to get our attention and then to get us moving. Secondly, births bring opposition.
Regarding the former, remember the wise men. God spoke to them at night in a dream. They got moving in a hurry and in a different direction to avoid Herod. Joseph was disturbed during his z’s and was actually told, “Arise!” That got his tush in gear and in the darkness he fled toward Egypt.
As for the latter, the birth of my day was opposed because I just wanted to stay in bed and not wake up to face my pain. The baby Jesus’ birth was opposed by Herod. It led to the “slaughter of the innocents.” [See Matthew 2:16ff if you are not familiar with this tragedy.]
My daughter and son-in-law just gave us the best present this week: a new granddaughter. But there was plenty of opposition, lots of stuff hit the fan on them. 
The holy-day season is clearly pregnant with lessons for all of us. This past year was full of challenges and the coming year is a make-or-break one for me. Maybe it’s an old lesson, as old as Christmas, as old as the Garden of Eden, as old as the angels that fell from heaven. Every new beginning is opposed, but it is that very thing that seems to get us out of bed.
A new year is upon us. Whatever we all went through this past year is waking us up to a new and more glorious year ahead.
Is it possible to accept pain and opposition as a welcomed wrapped present under the tree of our lives?
Here’s hoping you see some beautiful sonrises this year. Oh, and as Mrs. Dilber, Scrooge’s maid, said, “Merry Christmas, IN KEEPING WITH THE SITUATION!”

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