Monday Musings… Open the Door of Your Heart
Oh, the weather outside was frightful! Rain, wind, sleet… and then sunshine. I think in the span of 30 minutes, I had experienced almost every weather system. But then it appeared – a beautiful rainbow in the sky! In December! It instantly reminded me of God’s promise to us: I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. (Genesis 9:13-15).
As the emotional weight of these uncertain days we’re living in weighs heavy upon humanity, it’s important to remember that the God of the universe holds everything in the palm of His hands. We like to think that if we ‘do the right things’, we will be inoculated against trial, tribulation, disease, and infirmity, but I think that if this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we do not control our destiny.
This Christmas is probably going to be unlike any that we’ve experienced in our lifetime. Gone will be the large family gatherings, the holiday travel, or even the grand expenditures due to financial strife. There are storm clouds overhead of loneliness, frustration, and for some despair. It’s easy to get trapped into complaining or complacency. Instead look for the reminder of God’s covenant. The evidence of His love and His promises are all around us!
This was evident to me actually before I saw the rainbow. I had been in and out of a few stores, and I noticed how caring people were. I heard the words “Merry Christmas” intentionally exchanged between staff and customers. The words weren’t whispered out of fear of being politically incorrect. They were bellowed loud and clear. It seemed to me that people felt compelled to both say it and hear it to revive their heavy hearts into remembering the joyous reason for this season. Entering the mall, a young man held the door open for his friend and then he remained in place as a number of people, including myself, passed through, trying to respect the six-foot rule. As we walked by him, each one expressed their gratitude. It was a sign of intentional action and appreciation that as humans we need to continue caring for and helping each other. The young man’s action was so simple and yet it communicated thoughtfulness and the reciprocal reward of human kindness.
It was at the end of my trip that I saw the rainbow, to the north east of me. As I drove, I kept chasing it, a reminder of childhood and wanting to discover where the illusive end of the rainbow really was. But try as we may, we will never find that physical end. All we can do is marvel at the majesty and beauty of the colours – the array of hope in the midst of the darkened sky. And so, I reflected on all the goodness I had experience that day, and the blessings that I had from complete strangers. It was evidence of the promise that God will continue to take care of us, no matter the storm that arises in our lives.
I’d like to leave you with this quote from Henri Nouwen, that hopefully will be a further reminder of God’s purpose and presence each and every day, but especially during this particular Christmas season:
God came to us because he wanted to join us on the road, to listen to our story, and to help us realize that we are not walking in circles but moving towards the house of peace and joy. This is the great mystery of Christmas that continues to give us comfort and consolation: we are not alone on our journey. The God of love who gave us life sent His only Son to be with us at all times and in all places, so that we never have to feel lost in our struggles but always can trust that He walks with us.
The challenge is to let God be who He wants to be. A part of us clings to our aloneness and does not allow God to touch us where we are most in pain. Often, we hide from Him precisely those places in ourselves where we feel guilty, ashamed, confused, and lost. Thus, we do not give Him a chance to be with us where we feel most alone. Christmas is the renewed invitation not to be afraid and to let Him - whose love is greater than our own hearts and minds can comprehend - be our companion.
Let God open the door of your heart this Christmas!