It cost too much so I said, “Not now, maybe another time.” The man, at our local Ace hardware, smiled and said, “If I give you my discount, it’s this much.” I was stunned at his generosity and kindness. So, I said, ” Wow! Thank you.” We wished each other a Merry Christmas, then I left with my berried treasure.
The wreath’s a mix of grapevine branches and red berries. I see it as I write on the thirteenth of January. It reminds me how much of my life has been blessed by the generosity and kindness of others. Gifts I didn’t earn or deserve. Like Grace and all that Christmas demonstrates of God’s loving, generous heart.
Well, speaking of Christmas, my tree’s packed away until next Thanksgiving weekend. It remained unadorned this year. The Grands were coming to help me decorate but plans shifted. So I let it go. After all, I was flying West for Christmas so no need to decorate as usual. Especially, since I mostly love the lights. It cozies up wintry nights. I need light. Like Steve Martin said, “A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.” I know we’re not talking sunshine, though there’s less of it this time of year.
Which is why I like the tree lights. But this year, some of the lights went out. Still enough stayed lit. So I let it go and enjoyed what was instead of what should or could be. Chad, my tree man, said he’ll add new lights when we set it up again.
As to the less lit tree? Well, it took me back to Father Patrick’s sermon Sunday and words from Isaiah 42:1-4,( NIV) about the Messiah, Jesus. “… a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.” My Christmas tree, like me, has seen better days. But we’re still around, minus some wattage. But I take hope and joy in picturing Jesus cupping his hands around my stub of a candle, yours, too. Fanning the flame with the breath of life, so we keep shining, “like stars in a dark world.” (Philippians 2:14-15) However, when I read the whole passage, I’m reminded to “do everything without complaining or arguing.”
So, maybe that’s something to resolve in this New Year. Less complaining and arguing. More shining like stars. Less trying to make life perfect, more letting go and trusting God with our hopes and needs. And more gratitude for those who bless us with generosity and kindness when we least expect or deserve it.
Shine on, Sacred Stubs.
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