This is the time of year when my momma-heart wants to give my children the perfect gift. Well, truth be told, always I long to do that, but that longing is huge at Christmas. This year with all the busy-ness of moving, my Christmas gift-hunting feels hampered, what with budget constraints and time restraints and the need to focus on the huge task of moving from one home to another. But still, I think of each of my loved ones when I lie in bed at night. I’d give them the sun and the moon and the stars, if I could, if that is what will bring them joy.
This time of year also, with all the busy-ness of Christmas, is a time when tempers can flare, when tired-kid tantrums can push a tired momma over the edge, leaving a momma feeling like the strain of all that rampant emotion is too much to bear. Don’t kids understand mom is tired? Busy? Stretched? Trying her darndest to make sure this Christmas will be memorable and special and beautiful?
I know it is completely illogical, but somehow I think if loved ones could just see past my to-do list to my heart, they’d save all their negativity til another month, just set it aside, give me a bit of breathing room. Because, oh, drama. I really don’t need it right now. Let’s have joy and tranquility and understanding and patience instead.
Humans don’t work like that though, do they? Stress just boils every bit of negativity to the surface, doesn’t it?
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked at an angry toddler, or a stubborn teen, and prayed desperately for wisdom great enough, words wise enough, to turn that heart around. Oh, what a useful power that would be.
Yesterday in church the theme of the sermon was this simple longing: “We wish to see Jesus.”
Oh, yes. That.
But how can that longing guide my momma-heart? Help meet my children’s needs? Direct their hearts?
I suspect in each situation, each heart is different. Jesus demonstrated that Himself, in his different approaches to human drama. Sometimes he came to earth in baby humility.
Other times He threw the money-grubbers out of the temple. Or healed their broken bodies. Or fed their hungry tummies. Or fed their hungry souls. Or showed beautiful grace in the face of the ugliest of sin.
And then there was the bit where He spread out his arms in love and died, just so we could be in heaven with Him someday.
All love, all the time. But evidenced in different ways.
I’m not ever going to do love as well as Jesus does. But in the end it’s not my love, really, that I want my children to see. I want the words out of my mouth, and the actions of my hands, and even the gifts under the Christmas tree to show them Jesus. To remind them of the great love He has for each and every one of them.
In this season of gift-giving, of scurrying, and hurrying to prepare just the right celebration for our loved ones, I pray that I will be able to point my loved ones to the truest, best Lover of their souls.
Whether they know it or not, they wish to see Jesus. May my words, and actions, and attitudes direct them to Him this Christmas.
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners. -Isaiah 61:1