Friday, December 26, 2014


It could be that nearly seven months of holding no job, being “retired” in every sense of what the word actually means, is part of my feeling lately like I’ve “turned a corner”, having passed some final milestone and heading down the last stretch of the journey. There’s no “doom and gloom” in the picture. Christmas was just different this year with no “little diddles” left in our brood. The youngest grandchild is now in Fifth Grade and, in having finally dismissed Santa as a fantasy, with a smile identified his father, at the same time, as being the tooth fairy. The yearly tradition of presents shared the night before at our house was shifted elsewhere and, in fact, because of unforeseen circumstances, we’ve yet to celebrate the event as a family. If such change, though, has attached itself to other areas of my existence and set the mood, it, in no way, has me in some dark tunnel. Life is good; and mostly because this holiday isn’t a date set in stone, but a trinity, a threesome involving a manger, a Cross, and a resurrection, the latter not so much an empty tomb in Jerusalem, but a stone rolled away from one inside of me over four decades ago. This Sunday is Beth’s natural birthday and we’ll mark it with a good dinner at some restaurant; but that morning is also my group’s scheduled visit with the kids at the Youth Detention Center and these thoughts, above, are what’s on my heart in so far as speaking to them of Christ “in” me. We live so much in our head. There is a point deep inside us, however, a place Biblically referred to as our “belly”, but most assuredly not some physical portion of our inner anatomy, a spot where feelings and emotions dwell, that part of us such as knows hurt, and love, and everything that speaks to us “connection”. We are not in this “alone”. We need each other. We need Him. For me, whatever “identity” others might assign it, there dwells my integrity. There resides truth. It is what “holds me together”, gives peace in the midst of all else, renews hope in spite of the mess, and provides assurance that this isn’t the whole story. It is there that the light shines, and the angels rejoice, not just every December, but on a daily basis. It is there that the Gospel is verified, the message confirmed. It is what keeps an old man smiling…….

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