The Nativity Within

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I had the following article published in the religion column of our local paper last weekend. My original title was “The Nativity Within” but the paper re-titled it for whatever reason. The important thing is that I got to share Jesus!

***

Happy New Year! I hope everyone is enjoying the shiny, new gifts they received for Christmas. Each year, many of us have that one gift we hope to get. When I was 8 or 9, I wanted a GI Joe Dragonfly helicopter. How many waking dreams I had about that toy I don’t know. But there it was under the tree on Christmas Eve! Mere hours later, dreams turned nightmarish as the propeller broke off during play with my brother. As it says in, “A Christmas Story” — “Sometimes, at the height of our revelries, when our joy is at its zenith, when all is most right with the world, the most unthinkable disasters descend upon us.”

CAN I GET A DO-OVER, PLEASE?

When that helicopter broke, I experienced the brokenness of this world in a child’s way. This is an experience we repeat as we grow up. The reiterations are more adult and often more painful. Bones, cars, and marriages break. Real helicopters blow holes in the earth. People are jerked around by the marionette strings of addiction. These are the results of humanity’s choice to live without God. These are some of the ways we’ve broken the world that God once unwrapped for us, shiny and new.

The mothers out there know you are wizards. By maternal wizardry, my mom fixed my helicopter. (She melted and mated the broken ends of the propeller axle. As they cooled, the plastic ends re-adhered to each other). I was thrilled and relieved. Mom didn’t just repair my helicopter. She repaired Christmas!

Our grown-up experiences of brokenness are not so easily fixed. Time heals all, they say, and there’s truth to that. Still, sometimes healing isn’t enough. Sometimes you wish there was a reset button, a way to go back to a time before things broke.

(Continue reading…)

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