“You know how Christmas is all about intrusion, about welcoming the unexpected into your life,” my friend Lucille said, as preamble to telling how Bert, her husband/our minister, fought off the drunk firefighter from Massachusetts who broke into their second floor bathroom window the night before. Was a great story (dramatically embellished with each retelling — up to 4 intruders now), and an even greater point. Christmas as intrusion — if I did know, I’d forgotten. I’ve been so invested in Christmas as tradition, so caught up doing all the expected things (our homemade cards, decorations just so, George Winston’s “December” on constant rotation, the chaotic Christmas pageant at church) that have become sacred simply because that’s how we do them, that I’d lost sight of this small truth. The unexpected child; the surprising star; magi on an impromptu quest; big guy sneaking down the chimney; the diagnosis that changes everything…and yet, for this Christmas, didn’t really change anything, except that mom’s speech was slurred, her carols silent. 

As for tradition, this year Claire was uncertain about the pageant. She’s nine and a half, on her way out the door of youthful unself-consciousness. It’s not cool anymore to be an angel wearing a garland of gold stars, but she did it. Probably her last gig with the heavenly hosts.  She glanced around somewhat indifferently as shepherds came and went, as Wise Men plopped down fake gold and faux frankensense. But I watched her, more sure than ever that she was a divine being. That we all dance in holy light.

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, unexpected break-ins of peace and good will, and if we’re lucky, shy glances from ambivalent angels.

~ stephanie

~ by Stephanie on 12/27/2009.

2 Responses to “Angels.Looking.Sideways”

  1. Send some of those intruders my way…

  2. I’m sure that it’s a comfort to have Susan for support as well as for partnership in the creation of this blog (what an ugly word for such a beautiful undertaking!). Among the many quotes I have taped to my computer is one from Robert Marrone: “Awareness, in and of itself, is curative.” May “a still life…a life still” be so for all.

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