Originally published on johnpavlovitz.com
Oh, we need a little Christmas, right this very minute….
Have you ever felt like something was off, something you couldn’t quite place but you were sure of just the same; a subtle but very profound not rightness?
Well, something is not right in me these days and I know it.
I’m not sure how to describe it, other than to say that lately there is something missing.
I think it might be Hope.
I think I’m becoming starved of Hope.
It hasn’t happened overnight, but over time my soul’s been so weighed down by suffering, so saturated by the sadness all around that the expectancy’s been completely squeezed out, the possibility all but drained away.
I know the things I’m supposed to believe, the response I’m supposed to have, the joy I’m supposed to overflow with, but these are getting more and more difficult to muster in the face of all the horrible that’s happening in the world: Death, terror, war, bigotry, and violence all on heavy rotation and seemingly no relief.
These are desperate days on the planet.
They are desperate days in my heart.
Man, I need Christmas.
But I don’t need it on the calendar, I need it within me.
I need the birth of something beautiful, that thrill of hope I used to sing about as a child, to return again to my spirit.
I need the arrival of a great light into the deep, dark recesses of myself, where joy and wonder have all but vanished.
I need a newborn’s sweet softness deposited into the dank, frigid, musty manger that I have tended to become.
I need new life to change the landscape and alter the temperature in the way only new life can.
The word Emmanuel means “God with us”, and Christmas is the promise of an imminent holy, healing presence, but frankly most days it feels like we’re on our own here.
It seems like we’re fending for ourselves in this brutality, surrounded by so much that is wrong and hurtful, and because of this, the waiting is not the enjoyable kind of waiting.
It is not the wide-eyed optimism that looks to the skies, fully certain that goodness is on the way and coming close.
It is not the temporary discomfort that endures, certain that life and relief are soon coming.
It isn’t the giddy preparation in advance of a party.
This is more a frightened, exhausting, painful in-between that fears this might be the best we can expect.
It is a resignation to the darkness.
It is a funeral for the future.
I don’t want that.
I refuse to resign myself to such despair.
I have enough hope left in the reservoirs of my heart to believe that joy can still surprise, that hidden goodness is now preparing itself in secret, that love is on the way to mend and heal and lift.
So I will wait patiently for this internal Christmas to come; for that moment when I am again overwhelmed with possibility, helpless in the grip of all that right and wonderful.
For you who wait on these things along with me, be greatly encouraged.
May Christmas come to your hurting heart too, and may your hope be born again.
Peace in the waiting.