Saving the Holidays from Impossible Expectations

Clark Griswold as "Jason" - from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (C) Hollywood Pictures
The Holidays Again: extended time with extended families, the in-laws, and the familial out-cast all armed with a thousand expectations. The busy mom is looking forward to a break from the children to talk uninterrupted with her mother, and the work-wearied dad is hoping to catch a few afternoon football games and catnaps. The schooled child is looking forward to snow (if he is headed north) or nice weather (if headed south). And these are the just the few obvious, specific-but often universal-expectations. (read more)



“It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” Lam 3:26

The night does not remember the day, but casts long shadows on empty breezeways and emptier shoes that lie within. Neatly lined, right angles hide the onetime disarray: the chaos birthed in subtle strains of bending wills and nurturing. Red and blue are thus entwined in shades of gray layered deep. The candle burns low and lone tells that time has passed. But the soul remembers all of life’s drawn-out disappointments.

What sad recollections play out in flickerings of light, sepia in the growing dim, matched by lines of years engraved in furrowed brow. Brittle hair fails to coat the orb of age, while shoulders sag beneath the load: bow down once-vibrant strength.

But then, the sudden burst of light inspired by subtle breeze climbs high. Shadows fall in terror, driven back to cobwebbed corners. All shades return red and blue, bespeak the white of morning light diffused and soon restored again. Morning will return mercies without end.

We call to mind those fractal tales which, small and smaller, frame the days: empty shoes are miles past and years fleeting by, tread by tread, hour by hour. But faithfulness recounts the verse: great is the love, and greater He who loves. The stead steadfast love of the Lord never ceases.
Though the flame dies down again, gives way to night’s onset, the heart releases what in fear it grasped. The wait is good in the seeking, and in the seeking, find. In finding, there is a hope unwavering. What small is sown as patient wondering is greater grown in journeying not told in worn out treads. The soul finds portion. The quiet descends. And with the joy of morning, we wait upon the salvation of the Lord.