Tonight is Christmas Eve and I am struck by the contrast between the busyness of the season and the peaceful significance of the holiday. Our busy family that includes 2 small grandchildren celebrated an early Christmas last night before some of our kids travel to their new in-laws for the holidays. As I sat and watched our expanding family celebrate together amidst the chaos of wrapping, food and laughter, I was busy but also peaceful.
As we lit the Advent candles and focused on Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love, all of those feelings were present around our table. I feel most grateful this morning for the family my husband and I have and all the other people that enrich the circle of our lives. I am also aware that millions of people are not as lucky. As I ponder why this world often feels so unbalanced and unfair, it is a difficult concept to grasp. All we can do to make a difference is to touch the lives in a positive way of those that cross our path as we travel the journey of our life. As Mother Theresa said: "We can do no great things, only small things with great love."
I experienced my own Christmas miracle last night. Our daughter and son in law gave me my present and I was speachless as I opened the parcel. The book was entitled, "In Praise of Strong Women." The author is the husband of a university professor and friend of mine who passed away years ago from cancer. Our daughter did not know this story! I lost touch with him after his wife's death but remember their family fondly. His wife, Betsy LaSor was one of those "strong women" who touched my life. Although she was a professor of mine in nursing, we developed a lovely friendship. She was an amazing nurse who taught me so much about how to deeply listen and care for patients and people of all walks of life. She came to our wedding and I went to hers and celebrated with her the birth of her first son who was the same age as ours. Then she became ill and passed away much too soon. I wondered last night what the meaning might be of this book appearing in my life at this moment. What is the message that God might be offering this Christmas season? I don't have an answer yet but will enjoy the experience of sitting with the question.
What is the Christmas miracle that might be waiting around the corner for you? What surprise might appear, what long lost friendship might be renewed, what challenging story might find a new perspective, what stranger might cross your path with just the perfect message? Stay awake this holiday season and notice the lovely "coincidences" that appear. Be curious about the significance of them and enjoy the experience of simply "WONDERING" how they might impact your life in 2010.
I wish you a restful holiday season, no matter what your current circumstance, and a sense of HOPE, PEACE, JOY, and LOVE as we celebrate, tomorrow, the birth of Jesus.