This one’s not in my book Twenty-One Candles: Stories for Christmas because it was written later. Merry Christmas, everybody!
An American priest visited a displaced persons’ refuge in El Salvador in 1981 and wrote the following reflection. It could just as easily apply today to a migrant camp in Lebanon or a bomb shelter in Ukraine.
Colored lights appear, secret packages arrive, and the sound of distant (very distant) sleigh bells can be heard drifting down from the north.
I’m sitting at my window, looking out at the sky, the trees, the flowers, the river, the waterfall.
Sometimes I think, “If God had made nothing else but this tree, its myriad leaves ballet-dancing in the breeze, He would still be worth praising forever and ever.”
As the war in Ukraine grinds on from one horror to another, I think we must seriously question whether someone like Vladimir Putin is a human being, or whether he has abrogated his humanity. Colloquially we may call such people ‘monsters,’ but might not this assessment in fact be the truth?
We’re familiar with the story of Jesus’ agonized prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before He died. But there was another, earlier night of agonized prayer in our Lord’s life, described in Luke 6:12-19.
Today I had a very noisy quiet time. ‘Quiet time’ is what I call my morning prayer session, and I like it to be quiet. But today it wasn’t quiet, it was cacaphonous.
My wife’s mother, a fine Christian woman, loved Queen Elizabeth II. When my wife learned of the Queen’s death, she imagined her arriving in heaven and said, “My mom will be first in line to greet her.”
Julian of Norwich famously saw a vision of a hazelnut, which the Lord told her was “everything that has been made.”