Playdates With God: Christmas Party

ipod to christmas 2012 138
ipod to christmas 2012 134
Sonnet I by Ali G…
ipod to christmas 2012 132
painting by Puerto Rican artist Enrique Mora (just captivating)

There have been Christmas plays and Christmas concerts, Christmas parties and Christmas dinners, Christmas cards and Christmas shopping, and it feels like the good of the season has been crowded out for the busy. So on Friday, when something happens in Connecticut that makes the world stand still…the last thing we want to do is go to the office Christmas party. It feels wrong to eat and drink and laugh and make merry when there is so much loss. But these things have been planned for a long time and there are those who have worked with hands of love to make them happen and sometimes…sometimes the best thing to do is to be together.

So we go and I determine to see meet with God there.

And it’s not hard because our hosts are charming and the shining faces of friends feel like a warm place to worship. And even though the Name is not spoken; because I look—I recognize God there. We were fed in love and wrapped in conversation and the shadow that hangs over the day does not disappear but it becomes a part of the living and breathing and laughing and weeping that is life on this broken earth.

And as our host shows me around the house—sharing his extensive art collection he has painstakingly pursued from all over the world—his joy at these created things is contagious. And I am reminded of what Timothy Keller and Katherine Alsdorf say in their new book.

If we are to be God’s image-bearers with regard to creation, then we will carry on his pattern of work … we are to be gardeners who take an active stance toward their charge. They do not leave the land as it is. They rearrange it in order to make it most fruitful, to draw the potentialities for growth and development out of the soil …

So I let myself get lost in beauty—in swirling color and another’s joy in sharing his passion. And suddenly the world is kinder—broken, still … grieving, still. But kinder.

And I wonder if this is how we make it through–sharing love this way. Scattering beauty. This life is my little patch of land. I want to tend it well—stir the soil well for the planting. Redeeming the broken bits into something beautiful.

How do you embrace the God-joy? Every Monday I’ll be sharing one of my Playdates with God. I would love to hear about yours. It can be anything: outside, quiet time. Maybe it’s solitary. Maybe it’s loud and crowded. Just find Him. Be with Him.

Grab my button at the bottom of the page and join us:

The Playdates button:

Comments

  1. says

    Wonderful paintings. love the aliveness and the colors. I needed the reminder you wrote: “So we go and I determine to see meet with God there.” May I enter every interaction with that open, seeking attitude!

  2. Diane | AnExtraordinaryDay says

    What beautiful art to behold!
    Isn’t it interesting that one way, outside of the prayer and scripture, that we make sense of our lives/landscape is through order and creativity? Two qualities, outside of love…or maybe because of it…that make our God so amazing.
    Thank you…again, you have said ‘it’ so well.

  3. JosephPote says

    “…the living and breathing and laughing and weeping that is life on this broken earth.”
    Yes…so much brokeness…so much sorrow…
    And yet…as we learn to recognize that this world is inherently a place of sorrow and brokeness…somehow we become more able to seeing glimpses of Heaven’s pure joy!
    Thank you, Laura, for reminding us! Have a blessed Christmas!

  4. says

    We must know, must come to believe and accept that our capacity for joy is deeply intertwined with our capapcity for grief and sorrow; in the darkness of this advent, my prayer is that the darkness will help us see the light clearer, feel the warmth more deeply, that the power of “with” will be felt all the deeper as the only power strong enough to overcome the power of “against.”

  5. Elizabeth says

    Laura, the overflow of Hope in your heart is so beautiful. I am totally taken by the beauty and life, the very affirmation of living here. Sharing.

  6. it000016 says

    What gorgeous artwork! Praise God that His love and light shone through you and others at the party. In times of loss, we may need time to reflect and restore alone in His presence, but it is also good to continue to take part in planned activities where we can be a comfort and testimony to others. Thanks for the thoughtful post & for hosting & God bless you!
    Laurie
    http://savedbygracebiblestudy.blogspot.com/

  7. messymarriage says

    I think that is my “take-away” from this tragedy too, Laura. I want to be a good “gardener” of all things spiritual–spreading God’s love wherever I go. I am not the best at this, but am facing this sobering situation with renewed perseverance and passion. Blessings to you for such an inspiring and timely post!

  8. soulstops says

    yes to “redeeming the broken bits into something beautiful”…true words here…Appreciate you, Laura…if I don’t blog next week, wishing you and your dear family a blessed Christmas…hugs to you 🙂

  9. says

    Scattering bits of beauty, life.. yes, you do this so well. And now, more than any time, we NEED beauty scattered across the dark landscape of our nation. Seems that’s exactly what Jesus did.

  10. says

    Laura, I love the intentionality with which you entered the party – “I determine to see meet with God there.” May that be my/our determination daily!! Thanks for the encouragement. Hugs to you, Michelle

  11. says

    I’m glad for this, Laura – and for the joy and communion and fellowship you found that night, even in the midst of heart-wrenching grief. It’s been such a hard few days, hasn’t it? We need to grab these moments of joy and hold tight.

  12. says

    It’s hard for me, Michelle. In this busy season I find I just want to cocoon. Get lost in my to-do list and deadlines. But when I let the traditions of being together enter in to my time, I never regret it.

    So good to see you here. I hope your Advent has been sweet so far. Hard to believe it’s almost here.

  13. says

    Thank you, Michelle. This is my prayer for all of life, yes. (Thinking about that picture you posted on your Playdates post…this is where we should start in the morning, no? bedhead and all). 🙂

  14. says

    Now more than any time. Beauty stands in sharp relief to the pain of this broken world. And yet, God gives us glimpses of the Kingdom to come–even now. Love to you, my friend.

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