Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve

God is our refuge and strength,
   a very present help in trouble.  Psalm 46:1

I finally leave the office store after a complex series of unbelievable but absolutely predictable setbacks. Because of course I am not the only one who waited until today to mail a Christmas package. But rather than feeling overwhelmed, I am buoyed by a sense of ease.

Because somehow or other, we all kept our cool. The man who stepped aside as I was reaching for something on the shelf behind him and apologized if he was in my way. The young woman who patiently explained to me that I had packed my gift into the wrong kind of mailing box. The store manager who waved me into a shorter check-out line, but then missed putting one of the items into my bag and had to perform the transaction all over again. And me. Somehow I did not let anxiety win out.

I feel we are all being gentle with one another. It is as if we all see and acknowledge the stress we are under, and in the face of it each of us has decided to try a little bit harder to be gracious. 

And as I move on into the evening, the grace continues to be manifest. In the man in the parking lot, who smiles and waits until I get into my car before getting out of his. In the driver who slows and nods at me, allowing me merge. In the cashier at the fast food drive-through who gifts me with an unsought compliment. 

It is as if for this evening we each realize how fragile we can all be, and that we need to treat each other tenderly. As if a blanket of grace has fallen over the city like fresh snow, quieting it. As if we have all agreed to be kind to one another. As if we realize our actions actually can make the world a better place.

I am grateful for the gentleness as I prepare to meet the One who is gentleness. Who invites us to bring our heavy burdens, and replace them with refreshment. Who is humble in heart and promises rest for our souls. Who is waiting to be born anew into the world and into our hearts. Who is already present.

Copyright Anne E. Kitch 2014