>> Monday, December 19, 2011
I'd like to wish all my friends and family a very Merry Christmas.
During this busy time of year, it's easy to forget what it's all about--be sure to take the time to reflect on the true meaning.
This fictional piece is a FaithWriters Challenge entry from two years ago. I hope you enjoy it.
Krista flopped on the couch. Exhaustion had crept up on her like a cat stalks a mouse. Then it pounced, leaving her throbbing with fatigue.
The process had been a whole lot harder than expected, but the end result wasn’t too bad. Her mom would probably be pleased that she had “not wasted the day away for a change.”
Her mother wasn’t pleased about much of anything these days. But decorating the house couldn’t hurt.
The Christmas tree glowed, reflecting off the window as daylight gave way to evening. Darkness slowly enveloped the room, but she made no move to turn on the lights. It was way more pleasant to sit and soak up twinkling holiday cheer. Although her present circumstances hardly qualified as “cheerful.”
Tears blurred her vision, casting red, blue, and green splotches on the nativity scene she had painstakingly placed on the mantle.
Oh holy night, the stars are brightly shining…
Silver flashes cut like lightning across the top of the stable, Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus tucked inside. Krista paused to consider Mary, musing at the irony.
Supposedly Mary was a young girl. Just fourteen or so, she had found herself unmarried and pregnant. That must have rocked good old Nazareth.
It is the night of our dear savior’s birth…
Red dollops that could have been on a fuzzy receiving blanket spotted the Christ child in the manger. But according to the story, he didn’t even have a blanket. Let alone anything else. No Onesies, diapers, or pacifiers. Not even a snowsuit to keep out the December chill. Nothing but a few tattered cloths. Poor Mary must have been beside herself.
And what about the unsanitary conditions? She eyed the inhabitants of the stable, wondering if the worried new parents fretted about the dirt, animals, and freezing temperatures. Bet they were freaking out.
Long lay the world, in sin and error piningTill He appeared and the soul felt its worth…
Sprinkles of gold fell across the shepherds and wise men that had come seeking the savior. Were they disappointed to find their “king” was nothing more than a mere mortal?
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoicesFor yonder breaks, a new and glorious morn...
Krista had been dragged to church when she was little. She listened to her mom talk about Jesus and how he offered the same hope to everyone if only people would accept him as lord and savior.
But she hadn’t paid much attention.
As a teen, she’d taken a stand. Advised her mother that she was just fine and a “savior” was the last thing she wanted or needed. The whole “hope” thing was fine for other people—she could take care of herself. Obviously she had been wrong.
Fall on your knees, oh hear the angels’ voices…
Krista cradled her expanding waistline, the baby bump somersaulting in response. “Oh little one, I’m so sorry I messed up my life and you'll suffer because of it. You deserve better…” A sob escaped as tears returned.
Guilt and shame slid down her cheeks like a dam unleashed. “I should have listened--made better choices. But I wanted my own way. No one was going to tell me what to do. And now look at the mess I’m in…”
“Oh God, I need you…”
Oh night divine, oh night when Christ was born…
*Lyrics to "Oh Holy Night" composed by Adlophe Adam*