Saturday, December 20, 2008

Writer's Block

The other day I came across a forgotten folder on my desktop, and within it was the holiday newsletter I meant to send out last year. I had intended it to be a Happy New Year greeting, but then came such scary, scary news out of Kenya on December 27th, and further disturbing news a month later, that I was overcome with a sort of mental, emotional and spiritual paralysis. I sure couldn’t finish the letter, and even if I had, I couldn’t bear to send it. Our family’s news seemed less than trivial. The New Year didn’t start out so Happy after all.

(Thankfully, a friend -- you know who you are, Melissa -- recommended a book called When Life and Beliefs Collide by Carolyn Custis James. It's a journey, of course, but this book has been helping me put some of the pieces back together.)

I’m now trying to write our family’s newsletter for this year. In spite of its ominous beginning, 2008 was a good one. Our kids are getting bigger, funnier and even more fun. Matt and I are growing together, and we love living where we live, doing what we do. It turns out that Kenya -- which collapsed in violent anger, racism and chaos in response to their presidential elections at the end of last year -- reunited, rejoiced and danced in the streets last month in response to ours. Who would’ve guessed that?

This Christmas I’m freshly aware of the truth of Isaiah 55:8, where God says, “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts… and My ways are far beyond anything you could imagine” (NLT). Right now, in the face of our present reality at this time in history, the Christmas story holds even greater significance for me. The baby born in a stable to a poor, refugee couple turns out to be God’s most potent antidote for all of humanity’s deepest, most desperate needs. It’s an unlikely outcome if ever there was one.

One of my favorite verses in the Christmas narrative is Luke 1:37, when the angel Gabriel tells Mary, “For nothing is impossible with God” (NIV). A year from now I hope to look back on 2009 and see how God once again did the impossible. Especially when it seems unreasonable and unlikely, like Abraham (Romans 4:18) I want to hope-against-hope, believing God for the miracles that only He can do.

Right now, though, it’s still 2008. And I’ve got a newsletter to write.

1 comment:

Ruth said...

How well I remember the early days of 2008 and my obsessive reading of the Kenya news. Great post!