I know that it’s Christmas Eve and life as we know should be merry & bright, but unfortunately life doesn’t work like according to my seasonal plan. I’m in sunny Arizona with my family visiting my immediate family, sitting at the kitchen counter, girls taking a nap and everyone else is out doing last minute stuff. And as I was finishing purchasing that one last gift this morning I kept thinking, “I can’t wait to be done shopping.” I enjoy Christmas festivities, peppermint mochas, the music, Advent, and shopping; but, I do not like last minute shopping. It simply stresses me out with the lines, the endless traffic and the fact that I’m on quasi-vacation.
But it wasn’t just the lines, or the cars, or the commercialism of it all (do I sound like Charlie Brown?), but it’s the brokenness I sense all around me. The homeless without a home, the drug addict vying for life but doesn’t know how, the single parent trying to do the best with what they’ve been given, the divorcee who’s children aren’t speaking to them, the soldier fighting an endless war, and the family opening endless amount of stuff feeling more dissatisfied & empty than before they started.
It reminds me of a story during WWI when the German soldiers were on the Western front against the British on Christmas Eve. As they encroached the evening there was a truce called between the sworn enemies. And what was seen was a beautiful sight. These enemies crossed over the battle lines & shared life together for what appeared as a brief window of hope. They ate chocolates, smoked cigarettes & sung ‘Holy Night’ together in their own tongue. This was known as the Christmas Truce. There are times when we need to call a truce, even if it’s only for a short season. Just like the writer of Ecclesiastes wrote,
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
Whether you’re relating with the off-seasons of this poem or the on-seasons, I hope you will find solace, joy & a means to say truce in the midst of wherever you find yourself.