Thursday, December 19, 2013

If Christmas

If Christmas were all about glitter and lights
and gifts under a Charlie Brown pine,
perched awkwardly, displacing a more permanent resident chair;
if it were just about cards and carols sung off-key at children’s plays,
with lop-sided crowns and angels sporting withering wings—as cute as that is;
if it were just about expectation of giving and receiving more stuff,
then I would be the Grinch’s biggest fan.
Disappointment would not be worth the price of turkey and pumpkin pie.
But as much as it can be about family and fellowship, the good and ugly
in all of that;
and as much as it is about traditions and nostalgia, the good, quaint, and sometimes trite
in all of that;
even more, it is about the crèche, lost in the parade of tinsel, tumult, and talk.
It’s the spectacle of God humiliating Himself to accommodate a fallen race,
becoming of us,
to buy us back,
willing to live and suffer for that joy beyond it all.
And if we have truly missed the wonder because of the raving repetition of traditions,
the busy busy of buying,
then we have missed it all.
This year, I think I should have one decoration, at least in my heart:
a baby in a manger come to redeem His beloved and to fill the hole in our hearts with
His joy.
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Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Life of Dog

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Oh, that my life were like my dog’s–
simple, accepted, and sweet.
Affection is enough,
belonging is enough,
easy forgiveness and howling joys.
Head to head with the master with no doubt
and only an occasional dark fear, made well by warm assurance.
Oh, that my life were like my dog’s–
simple, accepted, and sweet.
Daily food is enough,
access is enough,
easy rest and spinning fun.
Head to head with the housemates,
no work and only occasional stresses, made well with smiley scratches.
There is that anxious cleansing time,
but oh,
I would like my life if it were as my dog’s.
Hmm, wait . . .
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