Sunday, January 4, 2009
ON A PERSONAL NOTE. . . .
You may have noticed that I leaped right past any recounting of Christmas's glories, directly immersing myself in the practical aspects of 2009 life. Well, that was partly because I was still snuggled in the perfect glow of the family holiday, with long-distance children still present and the warm blush of grandchildren's kisses on my cheeks. The last of my not-so-little chicks left this morning, and I'm waxing philosophical and tender at the moment. It was a wonderful holiday, and I'd like to share two lessons learned that also serve as my resolutions for the New Year.
The first comes from our Christmas Eve devotional. Our grandchildren, who were dressed as Mary and Joseph, went from person to person in our Christmas Eve circle, asking each individual if they could make room for them and their soon-to-arrive-child. One by one, the the guests swallowed and answered frailly "that there was no room". I noticed the catch in their voice and the hurt in their eyes as they struggled to respond in a manner true to the biblical account, and I was reminded of a talk by one of the Apostles counseling us that that same request is made to each of us--to make room for Jesus Christ in our lives. It was so hard to look into those precious, little two and five year-old eyes and say that there was no room, and then to see them kneel by the "manger" where their infant brother lay, swaddled and sweet. I watched as their eyes scanned ours, absorbing the poignancy of the story of the Christ child's birth as it touched each of us. I know what I was thinking--that I want my heart to sting with that same tender sorrow each time I do or say something that bans His spirit from making residence in my heart this year.
Secondly, I was reminded of the intimacy of Christ's investment in each of us. There is an oft overlooked, but majestic lesson, illustrated in the story of the raising of Lazarus from the dead. Four days after their beloved brother's death, even faithful believers and followers like Mary and Martha doubted that the Master's miraculous power was sufficient to restore their sibling to life. Christ knew what was about to happen. He knew that in minutes their sorrow would turn to joy, but in that particular moment, in the moment of their grief and suffering, what did He do? He wept. Compassion overwhelmed Him and He shared in their pain. And then He performed the great miracle. He is in our lives just as wholly, sharing our anguish until the moment when He performs whatever miracle fits our need. And perhaps if I become really great at making room for Him and inviting Him in, I will be more apt to notice Him there, in my heart, healing it and bearing me up.
Lastly, we are about to receive another miracle child. Our only daughter, Amanda, is a kidney transplant recipient, and in a few days she will give birth to her first child, a little boy she and her husband Nick will name Brady Nicholas. I'll post the news and photos when the grand day arrives.
So that's the news at the Lewis house. I hope your New Year is off to a glorious start, and that you have many things to hope for on your own calendar.