One day of finals stands between this teacher and her Christmas break. Plates of cookies and a mound of semi-wrapped gifts await my notice (although, to be fair, the cookies have been receiving quite a bit of attention the past few days). Student smiles remain attached to gifts of coffee mugs, pumpkin bread mix, holiday candles, and much appreciated Starbucks gift cards.
All that is missing is the fireplace and the Christmas season coffee cake.
That, and the presence of long distance family.
And the sense of awe,
the aura of peace that encompasses the celebration.
This memorial of redemption.
God becoming man for me, for us.
As my heart makes preparation for two weeks of travel and rest, I slowly begin to disconnect from the classroom. Unplug from the role of “Mrs. Hasz.”
An indefinable expectation of hope surrounds the coming days. We lay aside our griefs long enough to look toward the light. We discard our disappointments to wrap ourselves in anticipations. We let our diets go just long enough to relish the pleasure of unusual treats.
These are good days even for those of us who have lived more bitterness than fullness this year.
In light of recent tragedies, I feel nearly sacrilegious writing the previous words. Yet, I believe them. I believe that even when we are mired in pain, our spirit is yearning for light. We mournfully sing “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” as we simultaneously exalt in the chorus of “Joy to the World.” Darkness can’t steal the birth of Eternal Light. It can rob its radiance, but not destroy its magnetic power.
Light has come. Brilliant light.
And, so, we count our blessings and give thanks for the things that break us. As one of my favorite artists Kelly Rae Roberts wrote on her blog today and demonstrated in her art (click here),
“Where there is brokenness, there are cracks. Where there are cracks, there is light. Where there is light, there is an opportunity to come alive. And grow. And change. And rise up from the ashes of despair and into a new way of seeing and being and believing and effecting change. Brokenness has the capacity to birth wholeness.”
Broken cracks. Invading light. Breaking forth of life. Lives that change. Lives that are changed. Dust of despair nurturing the belief in tomorrow. Wholeness.
Could we look forward to those things this Christmas season despite the pain, the horror, the tragedy, the grief, the death of yesterday?
Let us behold Christmas. Too tender for words.