Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Thinking, that's all: Christmas is for the hurting, too

"The real beauty of Christmas is to understand the ugliness it cures." John MacArthur 

So we're in the thick of the Christmas season, a time of year that is laced with beauty and joy and celebration.

And I'm talking about how my heart hangs heavy after another loss.

I'm grappling, grapsing at how to remain authenticly true to sharing my story from where my feet are planted when there are so many deep emotions bound up in this loss during the celebration time of year.

Because I don't want to neglect the beauty, the good, the wonder.

I'm thankful.

I'm so thankful.

I'm thankful for Jesus' birth and what that means to my eternity, your eternity and my here in now, your here and now.

I stand in awe of the gift that came wrapped as a Baby King.

But I'm hurting, too. And it's real. And it's wounded-open. And it's burning. And it's sometimes out-of-my-mind sharp with pain.

She stops me dead in my thoughts to share that His birth wasn't wrapped up in shiny tinsel and big bows. That the birth that brought Him into this world was red-blood running and filled with the pangs of birthing a child. Samely, His death was that, too.

Lest I forget, as well, the wailing of mothers through the land after Herod claimed the lives of baby boys, attempting to steal the very breath out of the tiny king's lungs. And the betrayal Jospeh must have felt at Mary's pregnancy announcement. And the uncertainty Mary must have harbored about being pregnant, miraculously, with the world's Bright Hope.

"We are surrounded by uncertainty everyday, but there is a God that wants to go with us, who wants to lead us through the uncertainty of it, and that, too, is the message of Christmas." Joe Boerman

And so this Baby King, He offers this redemption for the suffering, this certainty in the face of uncertainty, this healing of hearts, this covering of blemishes, this promise of restoration, this hope of life forever within His perfect kingdom through both his birth and then with his death.

And Christmas is about that part, too, beyond the shine and tinsel-glow. It, too, is about the hurting and the hope gifted for hurting no more.

For the first time, through eyes that know tears as well as faint wrinkles from joy spread across my face, I recognize more than the wonder and the beauty and the awe of God breaking his 400-year silence with the cries of a Baby Savior echoing into the night from a stable, more than the majesty of a star shining so bright, foreshadowing the light that had been brought into the world through that birth.

Resoundingly, I see more and more why Christmas is for the hurting, too. And how the trials cannot be extracted from the joy and celebration, for they make Christmas all the more joyful.

And so I stand where my feet are planted knowing more than ever the joy.

Life: Unmasked