I read Baby Girl the Christmas story for the first time today. I cried the whole way through.
Bacon was cooking/not cooking/being a pain in the neck and a pain in my nostrils. There was wrapping paper EVERYWHERE. Ribbons. Scissors laying out in a hazardous way. Tape was lost. I discovered a conspicuous hole in the pants I’d been wearing … for two days. The customized present I spent hours on showed up at a random persons house while I got a stranger’s equally customized present – which I think will mean significantly less to my intended recipient.
And truthfully. I don’t know if I was crying because Baby Girl was hearing the Christmas story for the first time, or because my life was in such disarray.
A friend called. One of my dearest friends. And said, “I’m ordering coffee then we need to pray.”
She explained the morning that necessitated the coffee and the cross-continental prayer. I listened.
I explained the bacon. And the pants. And the gift mishap. And my mess – literal and figurative. She listened.
She prayed. Cried-prayed. I said A LOT of “amens”.
Something occurred to me in the midst of our prayer – about Christmas and peace and grace. And the presence of the Lord. And Emmanuel – God with us. And holy nights. And silent nights. And joy to the world. And peace on earth…and peace in the moment for that matter.
I have a deep rooted desire to live my life with a dependence on the Lord. Of late, I have listened to Matt Maher’s “Lord I Need You” incessantly, like I am coming apart at the seams. It is a desperate cry of my heart to live life in a sweet dependence on my Savior. And yet, I have spent this season beating myself up because I do not have it “all together”.
Now. Forgive me for stating the obvious, but I cannot be both “all together” and living in a state of dependence. One automatically eliminates the other.
If I have it all together, I have no need.
There is no reason to depend on Him if I can depend on myself.
One of my most favorite lines of any Christmas carol is the soft, strong surrender found in O Holy Night: “Falllllllll on your knees. Oh hear the angel voices…”
I can’t be falling on my knees and standing firm in my self-sufficiency all at once.
If it all started in a manger, a holy, messy manger – if that is where God choose to make His presence known – if that is where peace and grace and the presence of the Lord and Emmanuel , God with us and holy nights and silent nights and joy to the world and peace on earth entered the scene – then certainly they can enter my mess.
If my mess precipitates my need – and my need precipitates my Savior…then peace and grace and the presence of the Lord and Emmanuel , God with us and holy nights and silent nights and joy to the world and peace on earth and peace for this moment must not be far behind.
So if your Christmas is like mine – a loud, messy night in place of a holy silent one; joy to the world carrying a bit of heartache; peace on heart carrying a little disarray…Fall on your knees. He never asked us to have it altogether – He came to meet us in the falling-apart.
Here are the lines I’m humming as I fall asleep…
“One king held the frankincense, one king held the myrrh, one king held the purest gold. One King held the hope of the world.” (Point of Grace)
“I need a silent night. A holy night.” (Amy Grant)
“God is not dead, nor does He sleep.” (Casting Crowns)
“It’s still a mystery to me, how His infant eyes had seen the dawn of time. And how His ears had heard and angels symphony, but still Mary had to rock her Savior to sleep. Hallelujah.” (Joy Williams)
“Born that man no more may die.” (Hark the Harold Angels Sing)
Merry Christmas to all and to all a sweet night.
“And there were in the same country shepherds keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the Angel of the Lord came upon them and the glory of the Lord shone round about them and they were sore afraid. But the angel said, ‘Fear Not! I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all people. Today in the city of David a Savior has been born and He is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2