Once again I am in the quiet of the morning. I hear the furnace as it works to send heat through long and winding ducts to the rest of the house. I hear a bird on the back deck and I wonder what it is still doing here during winter. And I remember we have not had cold yet. Frigidness and snow have not yet arrived here—never coming for Christmas.
I sit in our back room—the catch-all, junk room of the house. I have a corner carved out among the clean towels and clothes that have yet to be folded. I hear the clocks ticking and the dogs are restless in their crates. Everyone else is still asleep.
My God keeps bringing me to these quiet places of the morning. He has tucked me away in this little corner because he wants me to breathe and to be still with him again.
Stillness is not a one time event—it is a way of life that many of us are quite reluctant to embrace. We are a production-oriented people. We want product and evidence of our busyness and toil. And the product and evidence of stillness is not readily seen. Its affects are not always immediately visible.
Christmas is over.
The anticipated, dreaded, loved, embraced and shunned holiday has passed us by on the calendar.
I wonder in the days after Jesus’ birth did Mary experience post-partum depression. Did she struggle in the dankness of the cave stable with her emotions and moods? Did she look around and second guess all that she had experienced in the past nine months? Did she look at the baby she held in her arms and wonder at his ordinariness? In those few days after the shepherds when she was alone, while Joseph was out looking for lodging, did she cry? Did the emotional weight of her experiences overwhelm her?
Isn’t Christmas like that? We work and work toward this season—planning, preparing and purchasing. We await this incredible day and then it is gone. It dissipates and we are left with these vague, shadowy memories.
Did Mary attempt to remember the exact words of Gabriel? Had he given her instructions for these days afterward? Did she try to remember the lines of the worn faces of the shepherds? Did she look at the donkey and replay the journey? Scripture tells us that she treasured and pondered all the events and things said in her heart. She mulled them. For the days from Jesus’ birth until his dedication at the temple she held all these things close to her heart lest she forget.
And that’s what I am doing this week. This Christmas there were some extraordinarily beautiful moments for me. Moments I don’t want to loose or fade, and so I am pondering and treasuring them.
Lest I forget.