The Rock Home Companion
It’s made us happy this year, Jesus everywhere – if you look. The metaphors happen – accidental classrooms in the Carols. Even on an Elmo Christmas show, as they looked for a Christmas miracle having to do with Santa and Nutcrackers, Alicia Keys sings of a child, sleeping in the night who would bring us goodness and light. And my boys called it: It’s about Jesus!
He’s not gone from the season. I went to buy the makings for eggnog at Walmart, and at the front of the store was a food drive, and everyone leaving dropped off a bag of food, so much bustle in the cold for strangers. I think about the 20 degree lows and how over 2,000 now live in the woods here in North West Arkansas – homeless – but some still finding love from community.
Even though the house has settled so that the bathroom door won’t close, and all the doorknobs are starting to fall off this old rock house, I am so thankful for the heat, for these rattly windows, and for our close friends, our backdoor neighbors. They’ve invited us to celebrate Advent with them. They’re close enough that they travel by house shoe. We share hot meals.
Jude learned it at church yesterday. “God loves a cheerful giver,” he quoted after Bible class. And after lunch, as he licked a lollipop, his older brother wanted one, too, and Jude handed his over, said, “Here Isaac, you can have mine.” What?
There has been a Christmas miracle here in the rock house, several in fact. Seth is a good man. That I married one of those is a miracle I witnessed 10 years ago. He gets ideas, and then he works them out. “What if our Christmas parties centered around giving?” he asked. We were having a party anyway, and our friends fell for it, this rock house with a hat by the door, filling with savory conversation and sweet drinks.
When I asked Jude how it felt to give Isaac his sucker, he said it felt good, like jumping on the trampoline, and I agreed. Spending pocket change on canned goods and asking friends to give $10 each is NOTHING. It’s not even close to the widow’s mite. It’s not great sacrifice even, but it sends a giver’s soul singing. How would it feel to trust, if we gave our all? What if giving weren’t seasonal?