A Christmas prayer

For each of the four births Abbie and I experienced together, including our stillborn daughter Belle, everything else faded into the background for a precious and brief time.  During those hours and days, it was unquestionably clear what mattered most.  We had a vital role to play, but we were mostly witnesses to wonder. 

It’s been a hard year.  It sounds like we are headed toward a difficult start to the next year.

My prayer is that we can all have some precious time this Christmas to be witnesses to wonder and to dwell in the clarity of what matters most.  That might happen at a rowdy gathering of biological family or family-of-choice.  It might happen in the quiet darkness of your own living room with the Christmas tree lights on.  A favorite nativity scene may be what draws you in. 

If this is a season defined mostly by absence, may you be met with Presence.

If this is a season of too much, may there be simple graces.

If the gap between the world as it is and the world as you long it to be seems especially large, may Mary’s song, Jesus’ birth, and the flames of Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love be sources of wonder that transcend despair.

A blessed Christmas to you all,