It is the season of lights. I often leave in the dark and come home in the dark. Lights sparkle brightly as I drive through my neighborhood, but none as bright as the light that brilliantly dances across my windshield when I pull up to my home.
I grew up in this house. We have lived here for almost longer than my memory will stretch to remember. While I lived on my own in Washington, D.C. for a time and after college, I returned a couple of years ago. The memories in this house are warm, and I often find myself asking God to pass messages to my Dad as I sit in the driveway and faintly picture him, working out in the yard and standing proudly as he surveys the work of his hands. My eyes fix back on the garage and I remember the days he spent turning it into a dance studio so I had a place to practice and dream choreography. I sit in my car for a while sometimes, sharing the ache with God, always ending with “Thank you for choosing me to be his daughter. Please tell Dad I love him and miss him. I want to make you both proud.”
I don’t know if God passes our messages to loved ones, but I do know He cares about my heart in that place.The important part is sharing it with Him. Only He can bridge the gap between time and space and Heaven and Earth. He is enough to settle the ache; His presence is enough peace for each day and the chaos it may bring.
As Christmas approaches, I think about how that bridge was made possible in Jesus. In His death and resurrection, we are able to breathe new life too. Sin no longer holds us captive; we are new, eternal creatures and brilliantly filled with His light. A broken vessel, yes, but one that Jesus chose to save.
Traditionally, in the Hull house, the day after Thanksgiving is dedicated to watching White Christmas and decorating. We postponed a couple of days this year. Schedules were full, but I think we also needed time, knowing we wouldn’t hear Dad’s booming voice coming from the living room singing along with Bing Crosby. My brother and his girlfriend ended up doing most of the work that day. They put up the tree and strung LED lights all around the house. Vera-Ellen’s graceful, breath-taking dancing just wasn’t enough to soar me into Christmas this year.
A couple of days after, as I turned on my street, I was astounded at just how bright how our house really is. It is the most radiant on the entire block! I began weeping for the beauty of it. Our house should be the darkest it’s ever been, but here it is, wrapped in glorious light, its glory showcased for the entire world to see. What a testimony! The lights were a witness to me, for me that day. I told my brother on the phone, voice cracking with emotion, just how special a blessing his work was. I told him how, in a season that could feel full of more grief than joy, he gave us something to remind us that though we are broken, Light cannot be overcome by darkness.
Jesus lives in me. I want my heart to be His welcoming manger, not drawn into darkness, but one that is wrapped in His love, showcasing His glory for the entire world to see. Like the lights that dance across my home, I want my story to testify to His goodness in trial, His redemption in sin, and His peace in chaos.
Light dances in a way that makes even the shadows waltz. Light is unashamed of its glory in the middle of that blackest of nights. Light allows us to see things as they truly are.
I don’t know what is going on for you this Christmas. I don’t know if you’re filled with joy or walking through the hardest journey of a year you’ve ever experienced. My hope is that you will take a moment to watch the lights dance. My prayer is that peace will become you this Christmas, and you will join me, delighting in Jesus, Savior and Light of the world, King of my heart.
Anna Hull lives in San Antonio, TX. A graduate of Schreiner University with a B.A. in Religion & Political Science, Anna is passionate about finding Jesus in every day life. She enjoys unexpected adventure, making genuine connections with others, and finding beauty in chaos.