My sweet sister,
My eyes filled with tears as I gazed upon the lit candle that was gently placed in my hand. There was magic in that moment.
This truly was a magical Christmas.
The wind blew through my hair as my dad carried me into Forest Park Church on the Christmas of 2003. There is nothing special about that date because all the memories tend to run together.
I remember sitting on the edge of the stage as grandpa preached the good news that the Savior had been born. We saw a king in grandpa... he wasn't just "grandpa," he was our superhero. He was our steadfast and fearless leader.
I think of how we would order pizza and open up our Christmas Eve present-- always cozy Christmas jammies. And how we would watch a Christmas movie and eat yummy treats before bed.
I think of how we would wake up in a scramble to jump on mom and dad while they were sleeping (until high school when they would have to wake us up. Haha!) and how we would eat the most delicious food that grandma made. Precious memories.
Then, everything changed.
Grandpa passed away from cancer, grandma went into a nursing home, their house went to a wonderful relative, and that was when all the special Christmas magic became nothing short of a passing memory. It wasn't the presents that made Christmas magical. It was family. It was our time together. It was our time spent digging into the Word of how the Immanuel divided history.
Christmas is either a time of great joy or a time of deep sorrow. I find myself longing for the Savior and longing for reconciliation within our nation and each other. There is magic within the sorrow, my friends... and it is beautiful!
But God is doing something new!
There is magic in that, too.
The spirit of the Lord gives hope to the hopeless and strength to the weak. He gives joy in the sorrow and life to those who seek.
My voice is raspy, my friends. And I fully believe that God intended for it to be that way.
No raspy voice, no healing.
Oh Lord, heal our raspy voices that long for hope.
I think of my raspy voice and how raspy theirs must have been too. A world with no hope. Generations and ages longing and crying for a Savior. "Oh come, oh come, Immanuel!"
Our yearnings finally satisfied.
My voice is raspy, and I hope yours is too.
"And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast."
1 Peter 5:10