This is no random post. I have known that I would write for Christmas Eve and in that knowing I have wondered, “What am I meant to share today?”
I know that these words will reach beyond my suburban location. They will travel across the states, over the oceans, reaching to countries I’ve been to, many I have never seen, and cities that are unfamiliar, touching cultures I haven’t encountered.
Whether you believe in the Christ child or not, the celebration of Christmas is noticed in most of the world.
Today across the world people will gather, some to celebrate the birth of the Savior, some to enjoy family and friends, some simply to do what they do every day because for them today holds no special significance.
If we were gathered under the red tent together I would want to hear your story and what your heart is holding as you live into your world today.
I imagine I would hear amazing and sacred stories.
I imagine I would look into faces of many different colors and traditions.
I imagine there would be women who simply need a meal or a safe place to rest for a few hours. Women who need protection and a rescue from the life they don’t want to be living and cannot escape. There would be women of wealth and women of poverty and everything in between. There would be women who are highly educated and those who cannot read.
The gathering would be rich, diverse and ripe for connecting with, learning from and blessing of one another.
I would love to meet you all inside the red tent today. I would love to listen to you speak. I would love how I would be changed for having been with you today.
For me, today, I would share with you all inside that tent where I am aware that I am becoming a matriarch. This Christmas I have felt it more deeply. Although my own mother is present I can feel that I have moved into a spot that once was held by her. There is something “weighty” to this role and at the same time something honorable and dignified. It leaves me considering who I am and what I want my legacy to be to my children as I hold this spot for the coming years, until it will pass down to my girls as they step into that role in their own families.
I would also share with you that I have been pondering the coming of Jesus, the Christ child, for this whole month. I have been writing about it on my blog and it has affected me every day. My heart feels tender and curious.
If we met in the red tent today I would ask you if you would risk walking with me towards the stable where the Christ child is laying. I would ask you if you would risk opening your eyes to watch the sky for the heavenly hosts, listening for their song. I would invite you to consider what “star” you have been following and if it is large enough for what your soul holds. I would ask you if there is an empty place inside of you aching for something, and if maybe, just maybe that spot aches for the presence of God.
I will visit the red tent today, as I imagine your faces, wonder about your stories and hope for how I will know you all more in surprising ways in the coming year.
Tracy Johnson is a lover of stories and a reluctant dreamer, living by faith that “Hope deferred makes the heart sick but when dreams come true there is a life and joy” (Pro. 13:12). Married for 26 years, she is mother to five kids. After nearly a half century of life, she’s feeling like she may know who she is. Founder of Seized by Hope Ministries, she writes here.