I seek to prepare to celebrate the birth of God-with-Us this year by watching for instances of the holy breaking into the ordinary. With eyes wide open and a spirit attempting to be attentive, I will share glimpses of glory that I witness as Christmas approaches.
When you did it (not) to one of the least of these, you did it (not) to me.
Freezing fog is one of my least favorite parts of winter. By the time we reach the end of the week, we’re forecasted to be engulfed in fog morning, noon and night. The roads will glaze with a thick crust of ice, chimney smoke will be trapped close to the ground, and rarely will we see more than 5 feet in front of our noses. On the positive side of the equation (there almost always is one, isn’t there?) are days like this one, when the fog freezes and then the sun comes out – revealing a world in which every blade of grass, every dried flower, every lingering leaf, every needle on every pine tree sparkles. It’s a breathtakingly beautiful world, all set against a rich blue sky backdrop.
The aspect that I find most stunning is the way in which the frost reveals fibers and molecules along every single strand of grass, a kind of peach fuzz I had no idea existed. With a microscopic perspective on life, my mind begins to wonder what dimples, scars and blemishes are hidden in there alongside the cells and chromosomes. And then my wonderment wanders beyond the frost crusted grasses. What other microscopic realities are out there, going unnoticed by me? A shy child who sings only when he believes no one is listening. Writing tucked away in a drawer. The troubled soul that cries herself to sleep every night. Cyber bullying that splatters photos and accusations across the internet. A homeless teenager surfing between couches in friends’ homes. A woman cleaning bathrooms at the airport, ready to burst with either the news of her son’s achievement or her daughter’s arrest. Hands that slap away unwanted advances, bodies forced into acts against their will.
There’s nothing like a frosty morning to open my eyes. The question now is how I hold what I’ve seen.