The voices in my head argue this one out: The Magic of Christmas pitted against the: ‘this is not what I expected for Christmas’ … but I can accept either position at any given time, even at the same time. What is the beauty of Christmas? And why have I traveled thousands of miles to be with my daughter and her family for this Advent season? There is a part of me that hungers for connection, for beauty, for the fulfillment of a longing I cannot exactly put my finger on. I know that the bonds of love are a huge part of the craving, being in the same air space with those I love, rekindling memories and crafting new ones. Every recent December, my own mother expresses a wish that she could experience ALL her family to come home at Christmas. And my heart does a split in two again, as I am reminded that two of my children will never come home for the Advent festivities on this planet. Death acts the grinch at Christmas.
And yet, in a desert land of North Africa where the “Joy to the World” is not sung, I watch my daughter intentionally celebrate the season, the reason, I am reminded of the hope and the peace spoken of as my grandchildren light the Advent candles. Around the kitchen table small fingers glue tissue paper to make a lantern light craft. And a song played in my head, from when my children were crafters at my kitchen table, One small child in a land of a thousand, one small dream of a Saviour tonight.(Sung by Evie) A knock from the back door lets us know the neighbour and her daughter arrived in the midst of glue and tissue, and speaking of light of the world … and then the flow goes Arabic, and I step back and keep glue on paper. The girl is invited to make a lantern and the head-scarved mother asks the reason for what they are doing. More Arabic, and messages about the light of the world are spoken, and a fourth tissue lantern goes to another home.
One small child in a land of a thousand One small dream of a people of light. One small hand reaching out to the starlight
One small saviour of life
So each year as I think of hearts coming Home at Christmas, I try to focus on the meaning of where I am truly at home. I am a spiritual being, and my heart is at home within the embrace of my spiritual Father. And my heart feels warmed by the light.