“For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” Rev. 7
Woke up praying for dear ones in great need today, and so very mindful of those who have said a temporary goodbye to fathers, brothers, husbands, mothers, and their own children this year. They say “the holidays are harder”, and in many respects that is true. My precious Daddy left this world at Christmas time over a decade ago. My Christmas Journal has been empty every year since. Not out of bitterness, but because of a weight that presses. Written words carry weight with me. To write a passage “without him” would make it seem he is gone. He is not. He is just as much alive today as the last time I was folded up in one of his whiskery, Old Spice-scented bear hugs. I don’t care to do anything tangible that subtracts him from my heart during this special time of year, with all of its memories.
A Christmas card, in his familiar, angular scrawl, marks the last page I wrote on in that journal. In it, he speaks of how much he looks forward to seeing everyone. And he will. He’s waiting with my mom, celebrating the birth of the Savior with the Savior Himself. What must that be like? I’m so grateful for the “blessed hope” of being with them all one day.
On our front lawn, we have a large wooden cross, framed in white lights, with a large, red gift bow in the center. We’ve done this for many years. This is Christmas. I brought a picture to Jr. Church last Sunday. I told the children, “I have a Christmas picture to show you…see if you can explain to me why I call it a ‘Christmas picture.'” It was a picture of Adam and Eve in the Garden, in front of the forbidden tree. A few little ones guessed it was the first Christmas tree, with fruit as “ornaments”. Then one bright young man observed, “I know…it’s because if Adam and Eve had not disobeyed, we would not have needed a Savior.” I shook his hand, and told him I was very proud of him. Yes. He nailed it. Jesus was “born to die” as the song says. “Christ was born for this,” the old hymn proclaims. His work on the cross was His gift to us. The Son of God became a man so that men could become sons of God. (John 1:12)
In the future, I look forward to having no more tears or sorrow or pain or death or crying. Those former things will pass away. Right now, I can embrace the cross of Christmas which reminds me that Jesus became “God with us” so that we could be “whiter than snow“. This I pray for everyone who might have the patience to read this today. Won’t you make room for Jesus, my beautiful Savior, this Christmas? I hope you will.