the month of here {day30}...when you can't find Him

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

can you join me for a bit?

will you sit with me one last time as i gather up the very last of this month and enjoy it in all it's broken beauty?

i wondered this morning, as my eyes slowly opened, why november couldn't have a couple more days.

i'm not ready to enter into december.

but, i am guessing, should november 32 suddenly appear on that calendar on my wall, i still wouldn't be ready to tear off the sheet then either.

sometimes we just have to push through.

i have slowly begun to go through boxes, placing bits of christmas here and there throughout our home.

but i can't find Him.

the wise men three stand perplexed and mary seems adrift near the space that should hold the Christ child.

i can't find Him.

except for {day22} that somehow slipped through my fingers, i have gathered up the blessings that He has given and treasured them through words.

this month has opened my eyes to the Wonder of His Love in ways i couldn't have imagined...but i stand on the edge of the coming season and i feel confused.

i thought this year would be easier than the last.

instead, i fill up this air around us with the songs of Christmas and Good Cheer and i feel as though i can barely stand.

i come to the last day of this month and the one who sets out to kill, steal and destroy has been working hard this long morning, trying to wreak havoc on the joy that i've found.

he mocks the gifts that God has given me, belittles me for being so naive.

and when i turn my ear from His Voice to the lies,

i can't find Him.

i know that we are not alone in feeling great loss during the holiday season.

songs that drift out longings for home and hearth and family leave so many others barely able to breathe.

at times, the celebration of His birth can seem like a cruel mockery to those who find themselves alone during the dark nights of winter.

i line up my window sill with the yellow daises that give me hope,  as though to defy the one who tries to break my faith.

i won't let him.

i can't let him.

i read the words in that old book of prayers...the one i clutched tightly in my hands as we drove from there to here.

o God, the Father of the forsaken, the Help of the weak,
the Supplier of the needy, Who has diffused and proportioned
Thy gifts to body and soul, in such sort that all may acknowledge
and perform the joyous duty of mutual service; Who teachest us that love
towards the race of man is the bond of perfectness,
and the imitation of  Thy blessed self; open our eyes and touch our hearts,
that we may see and do, both for this world and for that
which is to come, the things which belong unto our peace.
strengthen me in the work i have undertaken; give me counsel
and wisdom, perseverance, faith and zeal,
and in Thine own good time and according to Thy pleasure, prosper
the issue. pour into me a spirit of humility; 
let nothing be done but in devout obedience to Thy will,
thankfulness for Thine unspeakable mercies and love
to Thine adorable Son Christ Jesus. 

~ antony ashley cooper, earl of shaftesbury (1801-1885)

He gives because He is love,

but each gift is meant for more than our filling...

i stand on the edge of a season that leaves me fighting overwhelming feelings of grief.

i don't want to move forward because it means reliving each horrible moment.

but He has given hope in the days since...given not just for my benefit, but so that i would learn how to share His Hope with others.

i piled them up on our front stoop this afternoon with the little ones; 30 stones to be exact.

i needed to touch something tangible, to feel that weight of it in my hands.

and the tears poured down as the strains of O Holy Night followed us out that door,

as i piled stone on top of stone and placed the reminder of His Love behind.

His Love is there to grasp hold of,

to anchor us when we feel as though we don't understand His reasons.

hold on tightly to the way He Loves you, dear one.

don't. let. go.

let Him use your hurt and your pain,

let Him turn those tears of ache and brokenness into jewels of hope.

don't let it be stolen away.

and i give thanks on this thirtieth and last day of this month that finds me here...and for the thirty, tangible ways He Loves.

i won't let go.