Beauty in the Barbs
“the light shines on the inside of the darkness, and the darkness will not overcome it” (John 1:5).
Advent always reminds me of the great gift we have in God coming to be with us in Jesus. God entered into our messy, broken and many times painful world and brought light to shine on it's beauty. Incarnation or "God with us" transforms our ordinariness into art. When we learn to see God's light inside of our lives, we have hope and that hope reflects beauty inside of and inspite of the barbs that surround our everyday living.
I felt a poke of sadness thinking about not doing our annual Christmas Open House in Costa Rica this year, but I saw the light shining brighter when I heard that the church there had a Christmas Open Church instead and reached out to even more people than we could have. This is what they wrote on their facebook page about it. Hace un año estábamos celebrando con los hermanos Mylinda Baits y Gary Baits su tradicional open house. Este año la iglesia quiso continuar con esa hermosa tradición que ustedes nos enseñaron, compartiendo con los hermanos de la iglesia y amigos de la comunidad, el amor y la solidaridad cristiana. (Translation: A year ago we were celebrating with Mylinda and Gary Baits in their traditional Open House. This year the church wanted to continue this lovely tradition that you taught us, sharing with the brothers and sisters of the church and our friends from the community, love and Christian solidarity.) We are gearing up for a smaller version of our Casa Abierta this year in WA and will have a new community of friends to welcome in as well as both of our young adult kids home with us. The light shines still.
As this year of US assignment is ending and I begin the new journey of traveling throughout Latin America and the Caribbean investigating and articulating the stories of my sisters there, I long to see the light shining in the darkness. I will hear both stories that pierce my heart with sorrow and show courage, tenacity and creativity that will inspire me. I will meet folks who've been wounded, exploited and overlooked as well as those who heal, encourage and nurture life in the midst of countless obstacles. I will get glimpses of "God with us" in the faces of children learning, men honoring, and women creating. I am so thankful for the many ways that the light still shines through you and me, when we are open to letting God in.
May you welcome the God who still comes to us every day, entering into our world and shining a light that cannot be overcome. Glory to God.