My friend Eric is doing Christmas stories on his blog and asked for some submissions. It challenged me to get some of my thoughts together.
It was a few Christmases ago and my entire family was together for Christmas. This happens rarely for us now because my brother is up in the snowy north. But that Christmas his family had traveled down to be with us. We were all together. However as the token single in the family it never felt like the entire family was together for me because I always knew/felt that someone was missing.
That Christmas, maybe because we were all together again after so long apart, the missing person was a painful place in my heart. Now anyone in my family reading this little story will have no idea of that most likely. Because that fact and what happened next weren’t something I have shared until now.
Some point during that night it was time to settle in and I realized that I had left my overnight stuff and pillow out in my car. I needed some outside time anyways so I headed down the hill to my car to get them. Between opening the house door and the car door I started sobbing. It was a pretty good pity cry. It was Christmas. I was surrounded by my family but I felt so alone that it was overwhelming. I don’t remember my exact age at that time (easily 30 or late 20’s) but I had been praying on the way down this hill. Why am I still single God? What exactly IS wrong with me? I cannot go back in there again with everyone and be ok. I cannot do it.
Something caused me to look up in the middle of my little pity party and what I saw stopped me in my tracks.
Christmas night skies are somehow different - more magical. They are radiant. That particular night sky was the clearest sky that I have ever seen, with bright twinkle-stars, and in my view was my own breath in the chilly night air.
It was a moment of perspective for me that came from seeing that perfect moment of night sky.
Rewind 2000 years. Granted I am the first person to say that Jesus was most likely born nowhere near December 25th but He was born. According to Luke there was a night where the sky lit up and a host of God’s angels appeared to frightened shepherds announcing the birth of His Son. There was a night where a virgin gave birth to a Son. The same Son years later lived, endured, died, resurrected and lived again.
It’s not just a story.
Perspective… came from seeing my breath in that perfect night’s chilly air and thinking back to that similar quiet night. What a difference one night can make.
Unto us a child was born who would be the Savior of His people.
Somehow with that realization “alone” just slipped away and “loved beyond reason or deserving” came to replace it.
I stood there for quite a while marveling in God’s creation of the night sky and of my own very blessed life. It’s a vivid moment that I can still slip back to.
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests”