Thursday, December 18, 2008
Tidings of Comfort and Joy
Another hectic December is flying by and I’m still not quite ready for Christmas. I am working on top-secret homemade projects and my inspiration level has been pretty darn low lately. Not sure why that is – must be my own version of the “shoot yourself in the foot” gene that has plagued some members of my family over the generations. I intend to rise above my DNA, however, and get these gifts done in time for the holiday.
It’s cold here in Pocatello – really cold. I’m so glad we have our gas fireplace/stove running in the family room. It’s very near my desk and I stay toasty warm all day while I’m working. We’re expecting more snow starting this evening and going into tomorrow; should be a white Christmas for us because we’re not expecting a thaw anytime soon. The barn in the picture above is my favorite of this year's Christmas scenery in Pocatello.
Last night a small group of souls from my church went caroling at one of the local assisted living facilities. This is a far cry from the nursing homes that we used to visit when I was a kid – those were much more like medical/hospital facilities than ‘assisted living’ homes. I can still remember caroling for the first time with my high school choir at one of those places. We were visiting one of the “nicer” nursing homes in our area, but sections of it were still pretty grim. What struck me, though, and also thrilled me was watching the faces of the inhabitants as we sang the familiar carols. Many who were disoriented, senile, and “out of it” would sing, or at least mouth the words along with us. Obviously the lyrics of the Christmas carols were embedded deeply in their memories – so deep that they couldn’t be completely erased, even as the years took their toll. I loved seeing these people come a little bit more alive in response to the music. I hope the message of the carols was just as deeply embedded in their minds as the words and the music – I’ll never know for sure, but I hope.
Last night we sang for many in a lovely facility. What struck me this time was a woman sitting alone on a bench at the end of one of the corridors. She watched us intently as we sang for her (we toured the hallways, singing), but she didn’t give any recognition, didn’t sing along or even mouth the words. As we moved off, she remained seated on that same bench, by herself. When we reached the opposite end of that corridor, I looked back and still she was there. Seemingly motionless. I wondered what she was thinking and hoped that the music had somehow reached her. That’s another one I’ll never know, but I hope.
It’s no secret that I am a Christian. I am seriously grateful for Christ’s work on the Cross on our behalf. I look with hope toward the day when I get to go home to meet my Savior face to face. In the meantime, I’m happy to be on this earth, where He came, too – just a tiny baby in the most squalid of human circumstances. God and man. Lord and Savior. Redeeming His own.