I will not be heartbroken if it is not a white Christmas. I repeat, I will not be heartbroken if it is not a white Christmas. Truthfully, I don’t really care. It’s not like I spend a lot of time outside. And the magic of Christmas is not wrapped up in snow. Not at all. But instead, it is more than two thousand years ago, wrapped up in a dirty manger, surrounded by darkness and filthy barn animals. The true magic of Christmas lies with this baby, who grew up to die on the cross for the sins of all mankind.
We have had non-white Christmases before. When it was a little too cold or a little too warm to snow. Snow doesn’t make Christmas. Not at all. There are many places where it doesn’t snow in December. And truthfully, I would be happy in one of those places. If I never saw snow again, I wouldn’t complain. But I know I will. And I may complain about that, but at the same time I must remember that, snow, like everything else, is a gift from God. It blankets the ground so that in spring, a time of rebirth, it can come alive again.
Last Christmas Eve, we went to Leavenworth, and walked around downtown, stopping by a church that had a living nativity scene in front of it. I was freezing, sitting in my wheelchair despite the fact that I was wearing many layers. I must have said, “I’m gonna die!” a thousand times (which is what I usually say when I am cold), but the truth was, I really didn’t mind. Yes, last year, there was snow at this time of year. Yes, last year was a white Christmas.
I saw a woman at last year’s nativity scene that reminded me of my grandmother. She was tiny, like Mersie was, and I wanted to reach out and take her by the hand. I didn’t. She stood a few feet in front of me, off to the side. I could have touched her – I wanted to so badly – but I didn’t. I said a short little prayer for her and then released her – this stranger and Mersie both – unto God.
Today, I wonder at this God, this Savior who first showed up in the flesh in the stench of a stable. Of all places. Surely he could have picked a more favorable place to be born. In the comfort of his own home, perhaps. But no, he was born in Bethlehem, and having nowhere else to put him, his mother Mary put him in a manger. I am sure the animals didn’t mind. In fact, I bet even they knew, in their little animal minds, who HE was. And why not?
God can reveal himself anywhere, even in darkness. We can try to evade him, but the truth is, we can’t. He’s everywhere at all times. In the stillness of one moment and in the rush of the next. When we are alone and when we are not. When we hurt and when we are happy. He is with us even if we try with all our might to get away from him. And truthfully, why would we want to? It is only with him that we are safe. It is only with him that we are loved so much more than we can ever imagine.