I swear that’s what I read. But then you never know “what to my wondering eyes should appear.” My eyes make me laugh sometimes. When they’re not making me cry. Of course you know exactly where that came from if you’ve been on the planet sometime in the last 55 or so years.
And of course you know that what I was reading was my music thing telling me it was playing someone’s rendition of Angels We Have Heard On High, the old familiar Christmas carol.
I honestly love Christmas music.
Except (sorry if it’s your personal favorite,) Yoko Ono’s “Happy Xmas.” Ughhhhh.
. . ”
Worst. Song. Ever
Double uggghhhhhh. Triple a million times uuuggggggghhhhhhh. With apologies to Ms. Ono, of course, I just never liked that song. And, “Last Christmas,” by Wham! Play them back to back, Christmas Joe Radio guy, and you get Sixteen million times uuuggggghhhhhhhhh. Same with any covers of either song. And (sorry) Cher, and (sorry again) Cheesy sweary Michael Bublé. Bubb-lay? Bubble? (*POP!*) I can hear you saying among yourselves, “I think Mr. Bub-Bublé-Bub is pretty darn good, I’d like to see you do better, Mr. Mumble. I mean Mumple.” Yeah, I know, he’s not bad, when he’s singing, and the comedy and swearing at the concerts, I guess, is amusing.
Well, I’d love to have that chance, because I sing better than “Old Blue Eyes” Sinatra and Bing Crosby rolled together. And my eyes, for the record, are blue. That’s right, I cook and clean and sing and all that. Not bad for a guy who, minus the pony-tail, and with only a little of the fine marbling of muscle-tissue, is beginning to resemble “Comic Book Guy” Jeff Albertson. Minus, I’d say, 16 or 17 stone. I’m almost as smart, too. And I swept and mopped and washed dishes and vacuumed and did laundry and baked cookies this weekend (because when you’re up, you’re up.).
Sorry, ladies (and guys), I’m quite taken. Unless you’re hiring. I looked up the annual salary for a butler, and I’m game at the mid-range of that. But expect occasional seasons of “I don’t want to get out of bed today, fuck off, sir or madam.”
There I sat in church Sunday and although it wasn’t central to the message… or was it? Matthew 5:16 came up. I can’t think of a person least likely to. I’m sitting in darkness. My eyes see so much darkness I can barely see. Well OK then. Maybe I’ve been put here, made to feel the darkness like it was a literal thing, to share the light I used to be able to see a lot more clearly. I’m no Jesus, but God seems to allow, or do, things on purpose, in spite of our reaction to these things. Nobody asks to feel these lows, and I know many of you have it worse than me, I can’t imagine if mine sucks this bad, but I know it’s true. So maybe I’ve just been given a taste of someone’s thorn in the flesh which I haven’t really learned to embrace or celebrate. I don’t think that’s going to happen. But, if you can see the faint glow down here in the deep darkness that I call my soul, then I’ve succeeded.
Maybe that’s why I love Christmas songs so much- I know I’m supposed to shine, a reflection of the Jesus I say I follow, however poorly, but at Christmas the neighborhood lights do the shining for me when I just can’t. Please, no “Here’s Johnny!” jokes. And at Christmas, minus the aforementioned crappy songs that evidently either have a ton of money pumped into playing them or someone actually likes them, the music shines the light. Except the fluff tunes. I’m talking about serious tunes like Handel’s Messiah, or “O Holy Night,” (one of my favourites) or “I heard the Bells on Christmas Day,” (favourite #2) or any other carol that has some solid meat to it, telling the true story of how Jesus was born and what he came to earth to do.
I’m reminded of the story about hungry, cold birds in the snow as told by Paul Harvey, give THAT a read if you dare.
12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
I’m not sure but I think my train of thought’s been hijacked; I was going to talk about God saying “aaugh” from on high when He looks at the world. I think still sometimes that must be His reaction seeing me. But at least, if the earlier part of John 8 is accurate, he came to advise us to leave our sin behind and follow Him, not to condemn us for being sinners, after all, that’s what everyone is. Everyone needs His kind of grace. Especially me.
Christmas reminds me of this grace. I’m supposed to remember, but I’m pretty human.
I hope you find a stout measure of grace this Christmas. And honestly, I pray I do too.