Monday, 3 December 2012

The Light of Christmas Pt. 2 {A Dim Light Shining)

Conitnued from Part 1

Christmas is my favorite time of year.  It always has been.  As a child, it was a comforting, safe, peaceful season, though only really lasting a couple of days.  The anticipation of the peaceful few days always lengthened the season for me.
Protected and warm under a fresh blanket of white snow, the earth quieted, its sounds dulled, absorbed by the pure down fallen from heaven, the deadness of fall covered and cleansed. 
And for 24 hours or so, my family would gather together, warmed by a fire, eating, wrapping, laughing, listening, reminiscing, and giving and receiving.  For 24 hours, the warring stopped.  The thick heavy air that hovered constantly in our home lifted, replaced momentarily with inexplicable peace. 
Christmas was a refuge from the storm as life as I knew it came to a brief halt.
There was no church in our holiday tradition, no “Christ” in our Christmas, only Santa Claus and lots and lots of presents, including a seemingly never-ending stocking formed from long-johns, not socks.  Yet in all this absence of Christ, there was still an unspoken sacredness to it.  We would sing the traditional carols – the words I could not comprehend though sung over and over again.  I learned to play my favorite carol on the piano, “O Holy Night”, and each time I played, it stirred something inside me, a reverence, a place or thing longed for yet not reached.
Each year on Dec. 26th, my father’s neglected birthday, life would return to normal.  Family would scatter and retreat as the thick resentful air quickly filled the house making room for fewer and fewer people.  The war of silence once again commenced.  Life was filled with more stuff from a big-bellied guy in a red suit driving a sleigh, but was still somehow so empty.  
With the anticipation and expectations of Dec. 24th once again unmet, I faced Dec. 26th with dread in my stomach, a vacant void in my heart, and a quiet empty house. 
The light of hope which had dimly shone for a day was now extinguished to bitterness.
“The earth was without form and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep.” 

Yet at the same time,

“the spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”
Each Christmas I sensed a dim light, a momentary hope. 

Each year for 24 hours. 

Each year for 24 years.

To be continued.....


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