But this December is wrecking me. I’ve sat with the suffering. I’ve listened to friends in pain because of life’s sorrows and disappointments. I’ve been told off for helping. I’ve watched people head off to hospital yet again for things they don’t want to do. I’ve cried as someone else’s child faces a life of treatments and therapies.
And the fact that this world is not right – not right at all – has slapped me in the face. And I’m part of it. I’m part of the sin and the selfishness and the muck of it all. I can’t point the finger at the rape and the greed and the destruction and then hide in my corner taking my little fix of selfishness and pretending that I’m not an addict as well.
I feel like I’m hearing each Christmas carol for the first time. The mess of the stable. The scent of scandal as a teenage girl gives birth beside a man who is not the child’s father. The danger of the night and the soldiers’ swords that would soon come for this little helpless king who must rush across the border into Egypt or be slain. Born into this wreck of a world to save the world.
As I’ve cried with nearly every carol I’ve heard this in the past week, I’ve thought of this king who did not send help to our world. Instead, he came. He came himself. To see more of the wonder of that, I’ve had to see more of the mess. And now every carol seems to be shouting - no, singing - that fact out for joy, pure joy, in my head.
I don’t like what God’s doing in my heart this Christmas. But it’s good.