Thursday, December 27, 2012

When Christmas is Broken




The evening of Christmas Eve found me lying in bed with my husband, crying about how I couldn’t find Him. Somehow I had had lost the Christ child among presents left unwrapped, to-do lists unchecked, and a house that was far from presentable. Coming home from a party that night I realized I had left my purse across town with my mother-in-law’s Christmas gift in it. There was a bilingual recordable book waiting to be recorded and in less than an hour it would be Christmas day…

On Christmas morning I woke up late and thus we were late to the family Christmas celebration. I forgot the pictures for a special presentation we were making. And though I really wanted to be in the Christmas spirit I still couldn’t find Him…

Christmas this year and last has left me staring at the stark sinfulness of my heart. When I don’t get what I want, I am unhappy. When I do get what I want, I am unhappy. The God-shaped-hole cannot be filled with a perfect sparkly package or even everything on my Christmas list. Following Christmas several years ago a pastor preached that the emptiness we feel the days after Christmas (and sometimes like me, the day of) is its own gift. It is God reminding us that only He can truly fill our every longing.

As my husband reminded me, I oftentimes sacrifice the eternal investments for the temporary things and that is where I loose Christ. But worse yet I oftentimes hope to be the healer, the repairer of all the broken things. But as much as I want to I cannot truly redeem anything and I can never fix what is broken. But He can.
So at about 1:30 on Christmas we hit the “reset” button and ended up at McDonalds. We were "those" people. But somewhere over happy meals and “nuggets” that I’m sure can’t be made of chicken, I begin to find Him again. In embracing the perfectly imperfect I started to find the Christ child…

And in case you’re wondering, you can find Him too. Though he may be found in the Pinterest-perfect-project He’s more often found in The Gift of the Magi. And while he may be found in the chaos of wrapping under the perfectly decorated tree, I’m certain it’s easier to find Him in the shadow of the Charlie Brown tree. While I often find Him in the warmth of home with Christmas cookies in hand, He can also be found in the company of those in the alleyway with no warmth to spare.

And sometimes, when you least expect it, He will find you. In the brokenness of Christmas, on the patio at McDonalds’.

6 comments:

  1. So totally the reality for most of us. I felt the "day after Christmas blues" and appreciate your honesty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. And thanks for reading.

      Delete
  2. Joy, this is so beautiful! Thanks for sharing your heart. Merry Christmas, friend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Merry Christmas to you as well, sweet friend. I'll be contacting you soon about getting together in January :)

      Delete
  3. Beautiful and thanks for your vulnerability.

    ReplyDelete