christmas

this year,

the tears have flowed freely.

and tonight,

they do more of the same.

 

tonight, this bedside

carol sing is one of

love and lament.

this is the best

worst place to be.

 

but this is our world

and this is the season.

a time for everything.

for birth and death

for joy and sorrow

for the beginning

and the end

 

this is the world

You created

the world You were

born into

the world You called

home. and not home.

 

and as we sing these hymns

share these memories

hold these fragile hands

and keep vigil by night.

 

we shed our tears

as life holds on

with the resilience of a child.

as life lets go

with the grace of the ages.

 

and i think of everyone

gathered tonight.

those alone tonight.

those with the empty table spaces.

those living in fear-filled places.

 

for many this is a first christmas

with new life

ornaments on the lemon tree

dollar store decor

and christmas onesies.

 

for many this is a first christmas

without a life

the gifts returned

the traditions hollow

the tears fresh.

 

for some this is a christmas

far from home

without a home

in a nursing home.

 

and for others,

it is a christmas full of

new love,

presence and

all the season’s wonder.

 

for me, it is all these things.

in moments, i am surrounded.

in others, i am lonely.

the next, my heart aches for

all that is broken and breaking.

and even still,

it keeps changing.

 

in the midst of all of this,

You came.

in the midst of all of this,

You are here.

in the midst of all of this,

You are coming.

 

so, in the midst,

we keep trusting

and holding one another.

tonight, i saw so many

people extending open invites

of homes and safe spaces.

 

tonight there was laughter

and candlelight and song.

 

in this place that is so broken,

this year that has felt so

shattered,

there is still beauty

and kindness

and hope.

 

and in the midst,

we trust that new life

is arriving,

is here.

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