Today, I cut into the wrapping paper and made my irregular straight line cut. More like an uncoordinated cutter who strikes at the roll of paper with some abandon to wrap a book that hopefully will become a blessing to one of God's daughters who is struggling with life; yet, she is firmly attached to the bow of His ship. Looking for the anchor to hold firmly in the midst of life's storms. For that is what I am finding out about life and its presence of God. Of how we need to cling to Him and trust Him for whatever storms are brought our way.
Wrapping a package can be an art to some. And the unwrapping of a gift to a child is a rapid ripping and tearing of the package and a quick immersion into the present itself. We are told in scriptures that the ideal faith is that of the faith of a child. To fully immerse him or himself into the journey of God. To be present at Jesus's feet. To be ready to do life with Him.
We are also told in life to unwrap ourselves. To let our true selves emerge when we are gathered in fellowship with one another. To take off the tissue paper in our lives and reveal the fragile beauty that is behind it. The crystal eagle or the crystal ring that is wrapped delicately with care.
For over two-thousand years ago, Mary and Joseph wrapped and cared for Jesus. To take care of Him so that He could change the world. At the time, when Jesus was only a day old, it would be hard to imagine and picture Him changing the world, but that is what He indeed did. He became the seed within each one of us. The seed that is transformed within each one of us to make our world a better place. One person at a time.
So go ahead and cut through the cloth of life. Even if it is ragged, irregular and uncoordinated. For once it is opened, the imperfections won't be remembered. It will be the thought and the concern shown by the givers of the world, all harkening back to the biggest giver of all, Jesus!!!
The performance of the fall season is about to draw to a close. In a few short days, we are going to face the 90 days of winter. Just as the popular book of the 90 minutes in Heaven, we will have 90 days of winter to endure , about 13 weeks. We are going to get a premiere of the winter season this weekend with about 6 to 11 inches of snow. That is what the weather forecasters have mentioned.
The same can pertain to the world of economics. Many of the experts predict one thing and they are altogether wrong the next day. So I am going to take a wait and see approach to the economy. Our president-elect has put together a great team. Hopefully, we will turn the corner. But it is a roller coaster ride right now. yep, 4 r's in a row. for aliteration. Yet, one prediction that did come true is that Jesus was born in Bethlehem over 2,000 years ago as promised in prophecy. And He will return at the end of time.
So, let the curtain go up and I will sit in my seat and watch the performance. And go on stage when needed to move one foot in front of the other. Thank you God that I don't have to do a repeat performance getting blood work in the snow. For I did it when the ground was bare to the pavement.
When I was at the local Greater Bridgeport Symphony's classical concert, "Home for the Holidays", I had this following reflection.
When a composer writes the notes for a composition, that serves as the bed linen for the piece and the lyrics are the covers that we tuck ourselves into. For the notes will survive without the words but when two are wedded together, there is much greater depth.
Feel free to comment on this relationship so I can form added dimensions to this newly formed thought. Thanks.
The snow falls gently on the firs along the Coast of Maine. Through the picture window of our West Southport, Maine house, I see the snowflakes dance and glide through the chill of the evening air. As the snow falls down, they form strings of garland and tinsel that are being strung by the angels above.
The steady curtain of the snow blows through the air and falls on the evergreen firs and to the ground. Covering up the bare ground and leaving behind a fresh coating of snow, gentle to the touch , damp and cool to the fingertips.
The winds whip the snow around the trees as the snow cascades gently off its branches. Hearing a gradual whoosh of the snow falling back to the earth below.
I see the lights strung delicately on the trees set against the backdrop of the darkened ocean. For several winters, my father hung the lights on the evergreen firs which faced the ocean Looking at them through our front picture window, I could see the glistening echo of the faint and steady red and white lights reflecting back at us.
Yet, another memory of the Christmas holiday that I remember is sitting around the warmth of the fire coming from the black wood burning stove and seeing the orange and yellow flames dancing from behind the metal glass doors, As I placed my hands above the stove, I felt its warmth and smelled the aroma of the slowly burning wood placed there by my father and heard the gentle hissing from the steam released from the gentle lapping of the flames.
When I grew up in our family, I believed in anticipation of gifts and enjoyed gathering gifts for my parents and my brother's family as well. Yet, when i contrast my actions to the oral tradition passed down through lessons from church, I see a different picture.
For the magi bore the gifts of frankensence, myrhh and gold. For each magi brought one gift with him on his journey. Back then, there were no malls or e-bay to place one's orders. Gifts were mined from the earth and had an intrinsic value. And an effort was made to gather the gift as well.
I remember one holiday when I packed so many packages that I gathered for the journey that I absorbed myself into the pursuit finding just the right gift for a hobby for each of my family. For my dad, I gave him a golf humor book since he loved to watch and play golf. And for my mom, I got a bird book with bright colorful pages of North American birds, many of which we saw at our bird feeders throughout the years. And for my brother, I gave him an astronomy book since he used to sit out front viewing stars from his telescope when he was younger. And I gave the assortment of holiday cards and calendars put out by the Kennedy Center. And for Erica, my sister-in-law, I gave some horticultural books since she was involved as a master gardener at the University of Minnesota.
Another time that we spent together was when Erica was bearing good news with the pending arrival of my niece and my parent's first grandchild. As we walked through the mall in Minnesota and walked by the windows of the Restoration Hardware with its green and white trim. Seeing children and their parents traipsing around with grins on their faces. We passed by several stores and stopped in to wander through their elaborate holiday displays and listened to the christmas music playing overhead.
Several Christmases later when we gathered in their living room, we saw a video of Abby on that Christmas morning playing with her first tea set , pouring imaginary cups of hot tea to drink with her fuzzy bear and purple moose which she sat in their small tan wooden chairs at the table. Abby wore her red pajamas and enthusiastically spoke to them and jumped up and down as she poured them their tea. She leaned against one of the chairs as she became absorbed in making up stories for her stuffed animals as she gently put the cups against the animal's mouths. And her mom warned Abby, "be careful dear child not to lean too far back to hurt yourself."
In less than two weeks, I look forward to being greeted at the door by my niece, Abby and her mom and my parents. Recapturing the wonder of childhood as we gather around the table once again and to share our Christmas memories. For the five of us to share in the joys of the holiday. Making a good effort to recapture a fragment of time somewhat lost and depositing back to our hearts and souls. To then draw upon memories in the future. And to have time to heal some of the distance that has been created this past year and to reflect on a better year ahead.
Our holiday get together was precious. Abby devoured many of the books that she received and spent countless hours on the couch nestled with many of the books that were given to her by my mom and dad and myself.
She made up stories of some orphans that lived in the Piper shores hotel, unit j303. They consisted of the Small and Little families. As Abby began to conceive of the story , she drew out story board illustrations of what the family members looked like. They each had wings. Then the story began to take form and we heard many chapters of the lives of the characters.
Winter is here. Even though the date on the calendar says autumn, the stores have winter flakes displayed. Yet, one store in town is somewhat confused when it had its store named, Beach Bum Tanning. What a name for a store.
But onto the real meaning. The cradle of Christ represents the innocence of God and His youth. Of the time of Him growing up. I can't ever imagine God growing up. Since He has always been and will always be.
Desolate and Dark.
And the Cross of Christ consumes His innocence momentarily; only to recapture its glory in its Resurrection;. And to be reborn into the cradle of one's heart at one's conversion.
The white falling snow, a blanket over the darkness, a sleep that awakens the maidens.
Thank You Jesus for the power of Words and of being the Word when I can barely sleep.
Oh, I'm alone at times without someone at my side. And without someone to hold and kiss. But God I have you. And you make me complete. Even if I ache within me, with a piece or rib that I felt was taken out when you took that rib out of Adam. But what you have taken out of me, whether it was some skill I was supposed to have, I accept. I can relearn whatever you may need in your kingdom on earth. I thank you, Lord, for making me me. I have a hard times with that. Since I want a perfect world with perfect people. But I am not one of them. Yet, I am thankful for your visit to earth not just on Christmas Eve but on Creation's eve. At the genesis of our new Dawn.
Thanks, Jesus for the power of the Word and of Words. Of how I can dance with you. And give you the Glory of Life.
For the Power of my mama's knees and tongue. Of your strength to push the on button on me. To move about and change the world even at the odd hour of 1am.
And thanks for the winter snow!!! For Winter Words and the Winter Wonderland that you made through the movie, The Holiday, which I watched in its entirety tonight.
Merry Christmas Earth. Wake up and hear His voice and the Angels.
There is a popular song called, How Far Is Heaven. In one sense, it is very far and foreign to many people. And to others like myself, it is very close and right up to my nose and my being. It all is a matter of perspective. More later since I am recovering from having just typed this month of November 50,004 words in total.