Not what we planned….our life is never what we plan. And that’s the freaking painful beauty of it:
It’s a constant dance with grief.
It’s loss every day.
It’s defenestrated expectations over and over again.
It’s making peace with looking transient death in the face.
It’s tears streaming down our cheeks in sacred moments, or moments when we lie too sick to even produce tears—our bodies needing every ounce of fluid left in them: Breathless prayers breathed in the absence of oxygen.
Commercial Christmas Eve comes loaded with expectations and sets us up for failure. And today, it seems like that’s the perfect set up for the weary-hearted.
Mary and Joseph, at the crisis intersection point of their physical journey to Bethlehem and the anticipated day that the Angel predicted, stood outside a less-than-ideal inn, once again met with profound disappointment and utter confusion as to what in the world the next steps could hold. Surely they missed a cue somewhere.
Yet they trusted.
Mary had treasured up the promises of the promises and the works of the Most High in her heart, and Joseph had chosen the path of trust and integrity, knowing that Jehovah would carry them as he carried the woman who carried the baby-king of the world.
It doesn’t make a lick of sense: this world; these callings; the timing of Kairos moments in the context of this broken cosmos. But here we are, and here He is: Where the sacred takes hold of the mundane and kisses it on its blue-tinted lips.
Covid is our family’s stable this Christmas . I lay in bed, listening to my children laugh their lungs out and my lab barks wildly, trusting that Christmas Eve is just as it should be: heartbreakingly imperfect. As we cry out, “Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus!”
And He comes in ways that none of us could write. He shows up in places that only those humble ones closest to His heart could know to look: If you’re suffering, heart broken, utterly confused, and reeling in the chaos of a world horribly off track, you’re in the right place. Drop to your knee and allow Him to open your eyes.
See the King, the One who comes in the unexpected darkest night. He comes to pour light in our darkness. Don’t give up. You’re almost there. If it doesn’t look like what you expect, you’re closer than you think.