I think I understand the star of Bethlehem a little better tonight. I can imagine the joy that the shepherds found as the angels began to sing – the chills that ran down their spine at the sound of their voices! The Star…..I can picture the way it overtook the moon – the way it reflected on creeks and slow-flowing rivers – the brightness that caused those who were sound asleep to open their eyes as it peered down through their windows.
I can imagine it started as very dark and dreary time in Bethlehem – the taxation and all the incovnience of everyone traveling on such a cold and damp night. There were probably those who kept their heads down – holding a lantern so they could see the crooked path before them. For many it was just like any other day. Off to work and back home to sleep…only to mimic the same pattern the next day.
I imagine the shepherds in the fields tending their sheep. Were they shivering from the cold? Were they downtrodden? Did they feel all alone? Did it seem as though the ones closest to him couldn’t understand him? You know……those little sheep that he was caring for?
Then on what felt like an ordinary day – perhaps even the darkest and loneliest night – there came the sounds of Angels from above. There was a star that shined so bright it simply couldn’t be denied. It brought joy to everyone – even those shepherds in the field. No matter how cold it might have been that night or how alone they might have felt……the blood rushed through their bodies as the news of the King brought indescribable warmth. The excitement filled their souls. Oh the JOY they felt that night. I can just imagine it all…..
This has been such a difficult time for our family. There often aren’t words for the hurts that linger in our hearts. It’s not that we are the only ones who’ve ever experienced persecution, death, sickness, or pain that simply can’t be explained. But for the past several months….. I’ve often felt like the shepherd in the field…..maybe not shivering in the cold (since it’s pretty hot here)…..but definitely feeling all alone and unable to really communicate with those that surround me.
My parents showed up this past Thursday…their first time here since we moved to the property. The kids were so excited to see them. The girls already had their agenda planned….. making cookies, decorating the Christmas tree, and Nana’s famous midnight omelets!
There has been such sadness in my heart this week as those I love have lost their jobs, as those I love continue to mourn their family, as the rain continues to pour down and flood the huts that hold the most precious people I know. All of it..….it’s enough to make you lose your mind!
But in the midst of a dreary night there was that star again. It shone just for a little while as we enjoyed our family – the company of one another – the memories that filled our hearts – and the laughter that made our bellies hurt.
We are in OUR home and I’m remembering the beauty of Christmas……especially that night when the sky illuminated with the most beautiful lights & sounds!
And after we decorated the tree with as many ornaments as it could possibly hold…..I stared at the Angel on the top. And in that moment I could almost hear their voices singing and shouting with glee…… Glory to the newborn King!
Everyone likes to tease me because I’m a little bit of a nut when it comes to Christmas! I’m the girl that wishes every day was Christmas! But not just because I love to decorate with shiny lights….but because the lights remind me of the star that awakened the shepherds from the darkness that surrounded them.
This weekend as we celebrate our 4th Women’s Conference – special time spent with family – I am reminded once again of that starry night.
I know that in my darkest hour I NEED to be looking for that star…….. because I know it’s there.
While there may be days where the shadows block our view of the blessings – those clouds WILL go away….the moon WILL come out….. and that star WILL shine again.
Categories: Personal Stories