Tuesday, December 18, 2012

25 Days of Christmas Presence--Day 18


Yesterday my daughter got me a Christmas present. I know what it is. I have seen it and held it, but she will wrap it and give it to me on Christmas morning.

We were shopping and we were in one of our favorite stores and I told her I had something I wanted to show her. We walked down the aisle and turned into a booth. I wondered if it would still be there. I had been having a month long debate about whether to buy this for myself. I just couldn’t justify it.

It was still there.

You have to get it, Mom.

I waffled. She didn’t. She looked at me and firmly said, I am buying you this for Christmas. Give it to me. You should have this.

I wasn’t sure what to do. This was way too much money for my daughter to be spending on a gift for me. But I knew how much it would mean to me coming from her.

The gift was a whole chambered nautilus shell. Whole. Not a cross-sectioned one—I have one of those in my room. I had never actually seen a whole chambered nautilus—only in images

whole chambered nautilus. Beautifully marked and in incredible condition.


The clerk wrapped it in layers and layers of tissue paper and my daughter brought it home. I won’t see it again until Christmas, but its lessons for me have already started.

I started my year with the tag word WHOLE and this gift comes to me at the end.

This week I have struggled with wholeness. I have felt fragmented and disjointed. My age-old insecurities have surfaced. And I look around to see where I laid down my armor.

It doesn’t feel like Christmas right now. Today I did not feel like participating in the festivities of the Christmas season. I did not want to hear Christmas songs or buy presents or wrap them. Today I did not want to make out Christmas menu grocery lists. I did not want to engage people. I did not want to participate in Christmas.
This is a very hard post for me to finish. It is difficult to continue writing when I have read more about the community of Newtown, Connecticut.

When the horrible tragedy happened and news began to filter to me all I heard were the words Sandy Hook and I panicked. I am from Sandy Hook. I went to elementary school in Sandy Hook. Sandy Hook, Kentucky. And for a few brief moments I was transported back to the halls of my grade school.

It is Christmas and this tragedy is a hard and ugly thing. Newtown is fractured and broken. Senseless, cold killings have violated a community. The people, the families, will never be the same. We will never be the same. To attempt to make right sense of this seems futile. I can find no sense in it. None. There is no logic to the slaying of children who had not even reached double-digits.

Christmas is about Immanuel—God with us.

Christmas is about our participation in the Divine. I don't need to want to participate in Christmas--I need to be hungry to participate in Christ. In Jesus.

How, in this season, can we participate and help the Newtown community to find some sense of wholeness again?

How can we who live far away be a part of binding up wounds as our President suggested? What can we do to aid healing?

We pray.

Not just a God Bless Them kind of prayer.

We ask for wholeness for families who are now sick and weighted with grief—mothers weeping for their children, fathers groaning over their children, husbands aching for their wives, brothers sobbing for brothers and sisters screaming for sisters.

We ask for healing for the children who have seen terror—looked it in the face.

We ask for sleep for little ones whose minds are filled with nightmares.

We ask for wisdom for our leaders who are bowed under the weight of this tragedy.

We ask for a safe and holy space for people to vent their anger and their pain.

We ask for strength and stamina amid an avalanche of sorrow and sadness.

We ask our Father to teach us, now this Christmas, how to participate in the Divine.*

We ask him to show us how to put on his flesh and comfort his people.

We ask him to demonstrate how to step into his skin and carry consolation to his people.

We ask to be the second incarnations.

Jesus came that we might participate in the Divine. Jesus came to make the fragmented, broken, destroyed, wounded and cut parts of us whole.

My new chambered nautilus reminded me.



Father, send people, send us, to the community of Newtown. In whatever way possible provide for us opportunities to help and aid in the healing of this place where ugly evil has wounded and destroyed. Please help us to be active in finding routes to love a people who have suffered in ways most of us cannot even imagine. Enable us to seek and find opportunities to take care of these families who are weeping tonight. Our faith is nothing if it does not have hands and feet. We must participate. We cannot sit or walk by and allow the wounded to continue to bleed. Show us how to bind up these wounds and heal your people. Amen and amen.


Daily Activity: Many resources to aid in helping the families of the victims of Sandy Hook Elementary have already been established. There are websites in place where you can leave video and voice messages for the families. There are sites established to provide funds for the victims’ families. Ask God how you can specifically help. Participate.

II Peter 1:4

Stories and Names of the Connecticut Victims

Aid for Newtown Families







2 comments:

portleand said...

This was beautiful. Wholeness, His Shalom, is so full.

Thank you for your words; your blog connects with my own heart and thoughts.

Piper said...

Your words warm my heart. What a precious gift. As a parent this ordeal has such a profound effect on me. I am fighting those sad feeling and heartache and chosing to focus on God's promises. Without Him I am nothing.
We too are praying for those in Newtown for healing and comfort.