(I wrote a about it HERE).
Here's the gist of it ... I saw a house decorated with Christmas lights that were still illuminated in the morning. Now get this - I love Christmas lights! I look at them! I admire them! They make me feel warm and cozy in my soul. Especially the white ones. But on this morning the white lights I observed didn't look so ... special. Which was kinda disappointing to me. Which made me think how much more pretty they are in the night.
When it's dark.
And how if that's true for Christmas lights how that must be true for everything.
All light is more effective/luminous when shining in the dark.
The dark is not typically referred to as a good place.
Even children know that. That's why they need night lights and monster spray and extra cuddles from their mom at bedtime.
Dark places are the places where our imaginations run wild
and our fears are given space
and where we hide our ugliness.
It's where I hide my ugliness
We all do really. But me especially. Even though I often come off as an open book I have my own dark spaces reserved in my own heart for all those things I just don't want you to know. Or I pretend don't exist about myself.
It's that little crack, a crevice really, in the recesses of my soul where I never want anyone to see.
But light illuminates the dark.
When light is brought to dark the dark must recede.
It's the law of nature.
Dark cannot overcome light.
Dark is merely the absence of it.
So when Christmas lights are lit at night they are beautiful
and when light invades darkness it too is illuminating.
Light waltzes into dark, exposes what's been hidden and redeems.
At least that's what happened to me.
It's like this metronome that ticks left and right never stopping
pride - shame - get over it - pride - shame - get over it - pride - shame - get over it
on and on
it has been keeping the beat of my recent life
but it ticks pride and tocks shame and ticks pride and tocks shame.
Where I work.
What we make.
How many kids I have.
What I don't have.
What I can't buy.
What we drive.
My mind literally exhausts me at times with all it's shameful acrobatics.
Can you relate? (please - somebody! tell me you can)
For the previous 2 Christmases we were in want and secretly in my heart I hoped someone would notice. I shook my fist at the heavens and wondered if God had forgotten our family. I couldn't understand how if we loved Him he wasn't loving us back. (Mistakenly I thought His love meant I could have what I wanted, when I wanted, my way.)
But this Christmas! Ah! THIS Christmas I was going to be a holiday hero. I was going to bust my minimum-ish wage butt and I was going to make sure my kids got a gift.
Who needs others?
In fact, if I'm totally honest I'd admit I didn't even need (want?) Divine help this year (Gasp!). Our Christmas was going to be all about me and what I've done to make it happen.
And then Light waltzed right into my sanctimonious, dark heart. Exposing my invented lies. Revealing my bad attitude. Illuminating my pride. Proving to me I was wrong. I not only needed help (we all do on occasion) but I was taught an important, nay! an imperative lesson: the real meaning of a true gift.
And what better time than Christmas to be scolded on Light, Love and Gifts?
What was this gift I received?
Check back on Christmas when I will share the story of my great gift, but in the meantime .... you all should know that I believe in Santa!
sidenote: May I encourage you, dear reader, to be free and brave enough to face the dark places of your heart. Remember darkness is the absence of light. Let light shine in your crevices. While it seems scary to be so revealed I can't hardly express to you how freeing it is. Light always overcomes darkness. You don't have to live with dark corners in your heart or mind. You don't have to. Let Love come in. Don't block the light. Don't be afraid of the illumination. Let Love come in.