It’s 7:20 am on Christmas morning. Our dog Sophie is snuggled up next to me on the couch. Our daughter Rebecka is sleeping on a blowup bed right behind me. And my husband is snoozing in the bedroom. We’re all here in our temporary one-bedroom apartment in Northern Virginia.
When you have a grown child, simply being together is enough to spark a little extra joy.
There have been no tidings of joy.
In times like this, Christmas, the season of light, is more meaningful than ever to me. “I bring you good tidings of great joy,” the angel said to the shepherd on the night of His birth.
Joy to the world—for all people. Yes, please!
Last night, we attended a Christmas pageant, featuring our little nieces and many other children. One child fell asleep and had to be carried off the stage. Another little girl, dressed up as a cow, sucked her thumb for the first part and then came to life after being covered completely by a wise person’s robe and having to dig her way out. Our nieces beamed intermittently at us.
It was joyful in its imperfection.
I think we can find joy in the midst of fear, disappointment, uncertainty, and everything else that has marked this year, not just for people in the United States, but around the world.
Once we start looking, we start to see glimpses of joy.
The joy of helping others—of giving freely of yourself to spread light. The joy of receiving—a hand-knitted scarf or a good foot rub. The joy of being present with children—without worrying about where to be or what to do next. The joy of getting lost in a good book.
We must balance despair with joy. Fear with courage. Disappointment with contentment. Uncertainty with hope… If we don’t, we miss out on this wild ride that is being alive.
For many of us, it’s easy to find joy on Christmas Day. My challenge to you is to keep finding it and spreading it on December 26th, and the 27th, and the next day, and the day after that.
In a world full of tidings of war, hate, bigotry, greed, poverty, and suffering, let’s bring tidings of joy.
Joy, courage, contentment, and hope.
We are going to need it.