It is here, Christmas Eve. For many of us I suspect we would say that the month has flown by and we cannot believe it’s already Christmas. For some of us the month has felt like an eternity, slowly and achingly passing as we’ve lived one day at a time hoping for the energy to make it through the next day. Whatever is true for you today I want to remind you that you are welcome here, in this community we are creating together. Your hopes and fears are welcomed in all the ways they are showing up for you.
A couple of weeks ago Mark and I were laying in bed after a lengthy conversation and I asked him if he would pray. As the request left my mouth I felt the ache of hope mingling with the presence of fear, which honestly left me feeling uncomfortably vulnerable.
Those were Mark’s words. That was it. No long sentences, no provisional statements like, “if it’s your will.” Surrendering words, simple and to the point.
Tears fell from my eyes as we lay there in the dark.
In the days since we have both come back to those two simple words, speaking them aloud to one another in the kitchen, over the phone, with our kids around or just by ourselves. There is a knowing when they are spoken, something deeply intimate between us, something felt that night in the dark as we took our hopes and fears to the one who came to meet them.
Mark and I are people with plenty of words, we’ve nurtured a family with words, sometimes an overwhelming amount of words! The simplicity of his choice that night created something sacred, something that seemed to meet that vulnerable place inside of me where hope and fear swim around together.
O little town of Bethlehem,
How still we see thee lie.
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by;
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light.
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight.
There’s something that resonates about the dark streets of towns across our world, the reality of hope and fear palpable. The everlasting light is needed desperately. It’s needed for our world, and I believe you, like me, need it in your home today. Your need is unique, the ache of your heart perhaps known only to you.
So, today, Christmas Eve, I offer you the simplicity of the sacred prayer that has marked the moments in my home…
I pray that He will come to you in the ways your heart needs. I pray that you will enter into whatever today and tomorrow hold for you and bring your whole heart to offer and feel and soak up every ounce of goodness that will be available to you.
And dear ones, Merry Christmas from my heart to yours.
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). She is the Founder of Red Tent Living. Married for 29 years, she is mother to five kids. After a half century of life, she’s feeling like she may know who she is.