I remember that Christmas like it was yesterday. Tragedy is like that, it weaves itself around you like a tangled mess of fear. Body covered with a paper gown that could hide nothing but the clean underwear my mother always told me to wear. I wasn’t in an accident. My mind was leaving me. I was becoming who I feared I always would be. The girl who walked towards the darkness. One exhausted from running anymore so she let it swallow her. Here I was naked in powder blue room with my dignity being written down on the clipboard the nurse held.
That Christmas we had Doritos on the table for dinner. It explained where we were. Where life held us.
When sadness comes and presses down its weighted blanket over you, Christmas expectations leave you paralyzed.
Yet when we realize that we are expectant of misconstrued things,
we realize our souls ache for the stable and not the stage,
it is there we hear the babies cry.
On days like today.
Weeks like we’ve had.
We pray to feel the straw on our knees. To be waiting for the King to arrive.
On nights where the pillow holds our prayers from the wrestling of his sovereignty all we can do is
wake and whisper honest truths to the one whose breath we breathe.
That Christmas from years ago still haunts me and draws me closer.
Closer to the stable. Closer to the cry in the night. Closer to the waiting. Closer to the peace that came. Closer to the pain that needed to come first.
Dear one, if you are in the pain. If you are crawling with the agony that pushes you forward and pulls you back in. If you feel like you are the only one looking for a place to rest. If you can’t catch your footing on the cobbled road.
Walk forward. Keep expecting the inn.
The stable is there.
Look around dear one. You are not alone. The others are waiting there quietly crying with you. Bended. With knees bloodied from the pain that brought them there. Pushing through the straw to see that Peace has come.
Hold yourself there.
Quiet your mind and hear the voice this year you’ve been aching to hear.
Your KING has come dear one. He has come.
Draw closer to the stable not to the stage.
With stages all around us. The productions. The crowds. The money. The more. He is not there.
Christmas came through the pain and suffering of a mother.
With miles traveled in fear.
Christmas came through a doubtful father.
Dirt on their faces.
Christmas came with doors closed and strangers gathered closer.
Christmas came seeking a foreign place of safety when the world was sleeping.
Christmas came in the anguished screams on a silent night.
So sweet one. If you find yourself searching and alone. If you find yourself with doors closed and being turned away. If you find yourself foreign in a land that does not welcome you in. If you find yourself traveling thinking this is your forever. If you find yourself crying in anguish or doubtful that things will never change.
You have found Christmas.
Hold close. The angels will be singing soon.