I was stunned. Hadn’t expected what I was seeing.
I got back late Saturday night from time in Miami. Tired yet grateful. Tiffany and Ramsay, the new parents, were doing amazingly well as they adjusted to baby Brooklyn and her needs. They’re being true students of their daughter, learning who she is and what she requires to live her life well.
I left that idyllic scene and came home. Feeling a little under the pile.
We’d left home in a rush. Got the call that Tiffany was in labor, threw clothes in a suitcase and left.
Hadn’t finished decorating the tree. Bins full of Christmas clutter were scattered around the house.
More great intentions down the tubes.
Not life and death. What bothered me more was we hadn’t purchased or mailed any gifts.
When I got back home, I fully expected the Christmas mess to be staring me in the face. John had come home earlier in the week for work, and I knew he’d had a hectic few days.
What I saw when I entered the house was nothing short of a surprise.
Bins banished to the garage. The tree fully decorated. Poinsettias purchased and placed strategically around the house.
We have a number of nativity scenes. The issue has always been where to put them. We don’t have a lot of display surfaces–we’ve always needed space for chairs to seat our large numbers. The nativities have been put in areas most people can’t see. Or touch.
John had cleared a bookcase and put all the scenes in it.
I walked around the house in awe. Seeing little touches here and there. Things I’d have never thought of because I don’t think like a designer.
I felt cared for. The house was beautiful.
I’d done nothing.
John did it all.
He knew I’d come back from Miami feeling overwhelmed by what hadn’t been done and what needed to happen. That I’d turn into the nag from the pit about the things we needed to do. That I wouldn’t stop harping till things were done.
Out of love for me, he took care of the things I could have stressed over and worried about. A gift.
God did the same thing that first Christmas.
Knowing us and loving us, He knew the challenge of following laws and rules to prove our righteousness to Him wasn’t working. Our brokenness can’t be super-glued together. There are no quick fixes to becoming holy.
God gave a gift of mercy and grace. So we wouldn’t be held to a standard we can’t possibly keep and yet receive a gift we can’t hope to earn.
Jesus came to take the stress of trying to live perfectly from us. Because of His love.
I can try it my way. Refuse the gift and try to live a perfect life, which is what it would take to get into heaven on my own.
Or I can receive that which can never be taken from me. Love, forgiveness, righteousness.
I’ve tried, failed and stressed enough for several lifetimes.
I’m making His hope the star of my life.