I walked round the house, filling feeders for the birds in advance of yet another coming winter storm, a chance encounter with a pair of snowy angels reminded me of eternity and to keep looking beyond all the busyness to what is truly most important.
It’s been a hard year. I’ve found my self whirling through the days each of which seems to have more on the never-ending list of To Does than I can ever accomplish. On the days when I’m leaning in hard towards Him, my desire is to share some small measure of beauty that will be a blessing, for that’s the desire of my heart. To be a blessing for this world surely needs more of them. To walk in love for we all need more of it. To encourage other travelers. To help fill the empty places with His Grace and a measure of comfort. To share the beauty that is all around us for it helps heal and comfort our souls.
I was at my hairdresser yesterday, just walking into her shop is enough to make me breathe a sigh of relief in these busy days of the truly incredible Christmas rush.
I walk up to the entrance where bright lights twinkle a cheery welcome. Frosty snowflakes sprayed with careful abandon still dance across the panes of the old glass-paned door, leftovers from Christmas perhaps but still wintery and cheering. I step inside to the jingle of brass bells that announce each visitor, the air is deliciously warm and steamy, a relief from the icy temps outside.
Angela is truly amazing, not only is she a gifted stylist, but she’s also a talented young decorator with a quirky eye for detail. She’s taken an old run-down building in the small city where she lives, what was an almost derelict shambles and with loving eyes, saw past the wonky leaning walls and shabby exterior to the exposed brick and century-old beams inside and added gallons of fresh white paint to the dingy old walls and turned a falling down building into a salon the would make an NYC stylist drool with envy.
Her own brand of freshly modern Christmas music greets everyone as they come in the door, soft carols with a decidedly rocky beat. We talked about the struggles that seem to surface even more during the holidays, the longing to be close to those we love in spite of the walls that often separate us.
The time flew by too quickly as she shared her struggles and I came away resolved to lift her up more faithfully in prayer. My phone chimed with a text from Angela, thanking me and saying she always feels better after I come in, encouraged, strengthened, and I reply that I am grateful too for the time to share and for her friendship.
My heart keeps going out to her and not only her but to friends far and near and family and the closeness we lack and I mourn for missed opportunities in the past, especially in this past year, which was so full and fraught with joy and sorrow, fear and faith, and so many answered prayers and the many that though answered, still broke my heart.
I pray that this coming year I will do better Lord. Help me will listen more closely and lean into You, hear Your sweet whispers of the path to peace the path to joy and wisdom and truly being a blessing. Help me to close the doors to guilt and the voice that tells me I’m always failing, always falling short for that surely does not come from The Giver Of All Good Things.
No, the enemy of our souls is the source of that accusation, for truly
“There is no condemnation for them who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:8) the called as I know in my heart I am. Oh God give me strength and wisdom and most of all peace and joy and love in this coming year and yes the coming years that I fulfill the tasks that You have given me. Help me have the wisdom to use my energy wisely. Help me to be ever watching for those in my path who need a hand up, kind words and love those everywhere who are struggling and need picked up and set back on their wobbly feet with a word of welcome and Faith with my pointing them to the giver of all good things, Jesus.