Sunday, December 23, 2018

Christmas Miracles

As my mom and I were wrapping up a conversation this evening she said, "I'd better let you go so you can blog so I can read it in the morning." No pressure.

We didn't do much today. Some grocery shopping, some ornament making, some movie watching, some napping. I am feeling a lot better today, though I fear we'll spend the rest of the break passing this virus around. Alexander is running a fever now and several other children went to bed complaining of feeling ill. 

While we were watching (and painting, for those of us without the attention span for Lord of the Rings), the doorbell rang. We opened it to discover three big boxes filled to bursting with presents. A little sleuthing revealed—or very nearly revealed—our benefactors (who still remain very much anonymous but at the very least we can thank the organization who played Santa to us). 

Andrew and I numbly unloaded the boxes, filling the empty cavity below our tree. 

Everything seems a little numb and empty these days. 

It's not that we weren't grateful for the gifts; we were (and I'm sure it will be fun to see the children's faces on Christmas morning (in fact, maybe even tomorrow morning because none of them noticed any gifts appear under the tree)), but emotions are complicated and messy. 

We didn't need Christmas delivered to our door, not in the physical sense. We aren't lacking financially (finally; and it's a wonderful feeling!) and we've got Christmas presents stowed away waiting to be wrapped. There are others who could have used these gifts more than we could, in that sense. But our house feels poor in another sense—in the lonely, heartache, missing-something (missing someone) sense—and if a few toys can cause a ray of Christmas joy to break through our pall, then I suppose it will have been well worth it.

So we didn't need this. But we did.

(Plus, I've more or less talked myself into accepting them in a pay-it-forward scenario.)
Today was a difficult day—more difficult than usual (and our new usual isn't entirely easy right now)—for both Andrew and Grandpa (though neither could quite put a finger on why—probably it's because emotions are complicated and messy). So today I finished a poem that I started in my head last night when I was up with the baby (so I don't guarantee that it's any good since it was mostly written during up-with-the-baby hours). 

Though blithely angel voices sing
I cannot help but feel the sting
Of loneliness, of sorrow, of death.
My soul cries out with every breath,

"O, Man of Sorrows—and acquainted with grief—
Today or tomorrow, lend me relief!
Did you know you came from heaven above
To fill the world with wondrous love?"

The Christmas tales have all been told;
My heart's still tight with worries old
And new. There seems to be no dearth
Of anguish on this toilsome earth.

"O, Man of Sorrows—and acquainted with fear—
Smooth out my furrowed brow; be near.
Did you know you came from heaven above
To fill the world with wondrous love?"

My body's racked with aches despite
The world aglow in twinkling lights.
If I could choose, this cup I'd pass,
But it's my own to drink, alas.

"O, Man of Sorrows—and acquainted with pain—
Please let me borrow some hope again.
Did you know you came from heaven above
To fill the world with wondrous love?"

He came to earth a babe so pure;
For our salvation to secure
He suffered through our grief and pain
And paid the price for every stain.

"O, Man of Sorrows—and acquainted with sin—
To you we open our heart's Inn.
Did you know you came from heaven above
To fill the world with wondrous love?"

Yes, He came to earth from heaven above
To fill us all with wondrous love.

If you're looking for something happier to read, read this story about a man (Randy Heiss—what are the odds of that) who found a Christmas wish list attached to a deflated balloon and then reached out and filled those wishes. One day, perhaps, we can do the same!

Or, you know, perhaps not the same, but something similar—make a Christmas miracle for someone else.


  1. How sweet! I have a book of Christmas stories I read the kids and one that always makes me cry is a woman who just needed some Christmas cheer! Also beautiful poem!

  2. Lovely poem! Thanks for writing so I could read this! Sorry for the hard day/days/week/weeks/month/months. I love you.

  3. Weird....I was listening to this song when I read your "Man of Sorrows" poem. I'm sorry for your grief; I get teary-eyed just thinking about missing people at Christmas (people who are still here and some who are not) so I can imagine (a little) how difficult this must be. I hope the presents brighten things - and that you all enjoy remembering Karen. Oh, what a Christmas for her! Hugs!

    1. Thanks for sharing that, Susanne! I'd never heard that song before!