Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Alright, Listen Up

I'm busy. Like stupid busy. You know, cause like Christmas and New Years are not enough to plan for, I thought we'd take a trip to Disney in between. Throw in a little drama and wind up the kids and yeah, well, at least you can picture in your mind the chaos that is my life, even if you do have the volume on mute.

So why am I sitting here blogging?

That's the million dollar question right about now, isn't it folks.

Cause some things are more important.

This is my season, the season of Grinch. I am not a happy go lucky, let's embrace holiday frenzy kind of gal. Don't totally misunderstand. I love the magical aspects of Christmas. I love the ease with which you can use the season to your advantage to spoil and bless people. I really do. It's way easier to sneak up and bless someone during the holiday than any other time of the year.

And I'm all about the Savior.

But that's the thing that's driving me here.

There are some of you in my life this year that are rocking the Grinch so hard and furious this year, that well, quite frankly, you're making me look like an amateur and (doing my best Little Miss head swagger) girlfriend, don't like being made to look the fool.


So here's the thing. We all need to get off our butts, get our heads out of our butts, stop being butts and butt into some other people's lives. Especially, us Christians.

Yeah, here we go again. I'm up on my box, getting ready to tell you,one Christian to another, that we're doing it wrong again. But, hello!! We are.

Christmas isn't about the obvious. It's not about trees and gifts and twinkly lights. It's not about fancy treats or elegant meals or sweet outfits. It's not about snowmen or candy canes or even...hold it comes...bringing your unsaved friends and family to an awful fully loaded Christmas church service. It's not about sitting them down and being all holy and laying on thick "the real reason for the season".

That's not what Christmas is about.

Christmas is about hope.

Plain and simple.

It's about hope.

And in case you haven't noticed, there are a whole lot of people, right here, in your very circles, in your churches, in your families, who are living on their very last gasp of hope or even more painful, have none.

Read that again.

There are fellow believers, lonely, broken and hopeless, standing next to you and you're not seeing them. You could put your hand two inches over and take theirs, but you can't see them. There are people in your own immediate family who have no hope left. None. And you have not noticed.

Maybe you haven't noticed because you're trying to finish the lists, and you've already done the charity thing, and they'll get some help if they need it and there are still cookies to bake and....

Maybe you haven't noticed their lack of hope because you too have none.

Can I tell you a secret?

When you have no hope left and you choose to give some to another, you get a little bit back.

We misunderstand what hope looks like all the time.

It's not a big gift, or even a tiny one. Matter of fact, it doesn't usually look like anything at all.

It might be a smile to a person in the hallway, and then actually stopping to talk for a few minutes, but talk for real. Look in their eyes and care about them. Ask them how they are and then get a real answer. In time that will come back to you. Hope might be a hug or a gentle touch to that child of yours that bristles under your touch. I might be as easy as finding something about that kid to be proud of. Hope can be putting words on a page, even just the simplest words like, I love you or I forgive you or thank you.

Hope is listening. Listening with your heart and your ears. Hope is choosing to do and be for someone.

Hope comes before love.

For the next few days, pretend you're living in slow motion and be aware of all the people around you. Listen to what they say. When you hear things like, "Oh whatever, it's not a big deal, it is what it is, Christmas is just another day, that's always what happens, no ones cares, no one noticed" you had better feel your heart break instantly and your head spin around as you realize you are about to miss a moment to be hope to someone else.

Put the cookies down and walk away from the wrapping paper. Forget the lists and the demands and the crazy expectations.

Open your eyes and see.

Take action and be.

Be hope.