A Christmas in January

I wouldn't say I'm a "listen to Christmas music in January" kind of girl, but I am a "too lazy to change my Spotify driving playlist" kind and most definitely not a "skip the Nat King Cole song" kind.  That's how I ended up listening to O Little Town of Bethlehem tonight somewhere halfway between Carmel and Elwood.

Let me set the scene for you... Last week was Summit, which is sort of IWU's semester-ly "revival."  I genuinely enjoyed the band and the speaker, and I learned quite a bit... but I wouldn't say I felt God draw particularly close to my heart during that time.  Fast forward to today (Sunday), and between a cold and being home for the weekend, I skipped church, instead opting to stay in my pajamas until well after noon.

Anyway, I'm making the drive back to Marion and thinking about (I'm ashamed to admit) boys and all the homework I'm putting off, when the song comes on.  Nat King Cole sings to me from my small bluetooth radio: "Above thy deep and dreamless sleep, the silent stars go by.  Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting light, the hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight."

As I round the corner of the single lane country road I pass a powerplant I must have driven by a hundred times.  For some reason, tonight it seems different.  I notice it as a slow at the bend; on the side of the building there is a huge Christmas light star.  Immediately, I wonder at the coincidence.

My soul stills for a moment as God draws close.  In a nearly audible whisper, I hear the truth.  Tonight much more closely resembles the moment my Savior entered the world than any Christmas I have ever celebrated.  I am halfway in everything-- somewhere between one home and another, between the start of college and graduation, not yet who I hope to be but certainly not who I once was.  I didn't attend any special services in my nicest dress or hang up any commemorative decorations.  The revival speaker has packed up and moved on, and by this point Nat King Cole has switched into Imagine Dragons.

But just as Christ once came on a silent night in a little town in the middle of nowhere and was met by the most unexpected and varied welcoming parties, so He has come to meet me in my car tonight.  He has chosen to show Himself most strongly in a moment and place that otherwise would be insignificant.  But the holiness shows all the more for it.

So how do I react to this?  What should be my response?  In that moment, the words I read in a book someone recommend to me come flooding back.  It is the prayer of Frederick Buechner, but tonight, it is also my prayer.  I hope it may be yours as well...

"Thou God in Christ,
      There is no ground anywhere that is not holy ground, for in the cool of the evening thou hast walked upon it and in the heat of the day thou hast died upon it, and at the coming of dawn thou hast returned and art always and everywhere returning to it and to us who walk upon it too, this holy ground, though heedless of its holiness.  O make us whole.  Set us free..."


Popular Posts