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Friday, December 24, 2010

Silent Night, Really??

So the stockings are hung, the pies are baked, and in a few more hours, as darkness covers the expanse of the mall parking lot, even the Santas will finally go home for their Merry Christmas. For Christmas people, we often refer to this Christmas Eve as the holiest of nights as we await the birth of Jesus. We sing quiet, lolling tunes, like "Silent Night", extolling the calmness of the world as Jesus enters in, surrounded by a star-studded cast of angels, animals, strangers bearing gifts, and Mary and Joseph.

So familiar are we with this scene that we, too, try to transform Christmas into this tranquil haven for ourselves and our families, with limited success. The arrival of a child is almost never quiet and hushed. There is laughter, tears, screaming (lots of screaming), chaos, and a bit of panic.  There is joy in the midst of intense physical pain, and a complex desire to be everything you never thought you could be for this tiny little person. As my friends have become parents, I have watched them in seeming perpetual motion, working harder than they ever had before. The arrival of their children has clarified their thinking and made them acutely aware of the world that their children occupy.

The Christmas story should wake you up and push you out into a world that's churning with need.    

I'm just saying:)

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