It all came to my emotional finality in the quietness of midnight on Christmas Eve. Although we had lived in the same neighborhood for several years, things happened that I had not ever noticed before. Was I oblivious to it out of my spiritual ignorance, or was it something that God created just for me? I believe it was a little of both, instrumented in His glory as a gift to me.
It was a late night, and for some reason I could not sleep. It was mild weather, normal for December in Southern California, so the bedroom windows were open, and the sound of the ocean's waves crashed rhythmically on the shore. Not noticing time or space, I rose out of bed and sat on the balcony, overlooking the stillness of the town, the greenway park empty, yet lit up by the street lights all down the road. Then, as if out of no where, the sound of carols being played by church bells rang throughout the town! From midnight on, song after song, I don't even know how long it lasted, the carols sang out, proclaiming the King's birth!
It was as if each melody drew out from my heart the lyrics, making them real to me for the very first time! I cried at the proclamation of Jesus' birth! Rejoice! Emmanuel!! He has come!!
Now I live in Southwest Missouri, and I'm far from the sound of the ocean's waves or the little church down the road that had the Christmas bells in their steeple. Sometimes I can see the wind blowing the fields of grass and it mimics the ocean's currents, or I can imagine the sound of the waves breaking on the shore on crisp, cold, winter nights, with no water in sight. Yet Christmas season is always a time of miracles as I remember back to my first "real" Christmas, and the special gift that God gave to me that night. "
PS - my afterthought: so...as I was blogging this morning...it occurs to me: I know many people around the world where they have to prepare for Christmas in many other "different" ways, and things don't look/feel/smell/taste the same to them...they don't get to be with the ones that they love to be around (even if they are with others that they do love)....and they have to create new ways to prepare their hearts for "the most wonderful time of the year" when there may not even be lights on trees or houses, or Christmas parties to attend, or can't even mention Jesus' birth...so my pity party ended abruptly...and although it may not feel like Christmas in my circumstances, I NEED to make it Christmas in my ♥ , and that's not about where I am geographically, but where I am spiritually - and I want to be in THAT place...so I'm praying for "all those other friends" and remembering their needs this morning...