“All is calm and all is bright. Everywhere but in your heart tonight. They’re singing carols of joy and peace. But you feel too far gone and too far out of reach. Somewhere in your silent night.” –Somewhere In Your Silent Night/Casting Crowns
All I could see were pancakes.
Whenever we visited that quaint seaside town, we started our day with the locals and out-of-this-world pecan pancakes.
With cranberry lemon butter, just sayin.
We parked in the back, as usual, and took the shortcut path, between the restaurant and a nameless building, to the main entrance.
Inside, I enjoyed breakfast, Bing Crosby, and almost sixty minutes of heavenly peace.
Away from my to-do list and my iPhone.
Pausing can prepare us for unforeseen pleasures.
Back on the path, with our car in plain sight, it didn’t take long for my thoughts to drift back to bah-humbug.
Suddenly, I heard “Well, will you look at that!” and turned to see my husband standing by two little Charlie Brown-like trees at the back of the building next to the restaurant.
That nameless-I-never-pay-attention-to-it building.
How could I have missed them?
Sometimes we discover joy when we aren’t trying so hard to find it.
One was covered with tags and the other was waiting to be.
Upon closer inspection, I realized that they were so much more than trees.
They were displays of soul deep wishes with words like
…my adult kids would get it together.
…for good health.
…happiness for my family.
…for an end to sexual harassment.
…the one I love was here…
And, as I touched each tag and read it out loud, something amazing happened.
I rediscovered Christmas.
“From heaven’s height to manger low, there is no distance the Prince of Peace won’t go, from manger low to Calvary’s hill, when your pain runs deep, His love runs deeper still. He has always loved you, child, and He always will.”
Beloved, we’re not too different than those two trees, are we? Standing out in the world, wishing for someone or something to fill us with hope, with peace, with love.
When what we needed all along was right in front of us.
Like the baby in the manger.
If only we will see Him.
The True Meaning of Christmas.
Before we left, I pulled a pink sharpie out of the purple hanging bucket and wrote my own Christmas wish.
For you, for all of us.
“Lift your head, lift your heart, Emmanuel will meet you where you are. He knows your hurt, He knows your name, and you’re the very reason that He came.
Love will find you.”
Merry Christmas to you and yours, dear one. XO