Well friends, I’ve done it again…I’ve bitten off more than I should chew at once! I mean, I’m chewing on all the life that I have stuffed in my mouth right now, but it’s one of those kind of bites where there’s too much meat, so you chew and chew and chew…like a cow regurgitating it’s cud because one time down just isn’t thorough enough.
Amidst planning Allume 2013, hosting over 100 people at my home this past Friday for a Christmas party, preparing to head to Bangladesh with Food for the Hungry in a month, and being wife and mommy (which alone are a mouthful to chew), we’ve just put our house on the market in hopes of moving just 2 doors down. It’s a lot…and it’s all during this holiday season full of general hustle and bustle anyhow.
But you know what is interesting to me in the mess of all this craziness?….Somehow in all the chaos, I actually haven’t lost sight of my Jesus. And the fact that he came as a teeny tiny baby and landed in the midst of a world full of more chaos, has brought me peace in the moments that I steal away.
I’ve been wondering what it is that has kept all of these distractions in my life from actually truly distracting me from the Lord lately. And I think that I’ve realized that I’ve reached a point in my life where I’m just in such constant communication with my heavenly daddy, that I just haven’t lost sight of him. He’s just here. He’s just real. And, I remember Ann Voskamp said, in a wonderful illustration at Allume, that we’ll know we’ve gone too far when we can no longer hear his voice. He’s the reason that all this stuff in my life is happening anyhow, so I guess I find myself talking it through with him on a regular basis. His voice is right here beside me.
And lately, I’ve found myself lingering on and enjoying the thoughts of my Jesus as that tiny baby in a manger, and the hard journey that his mom and dad had to make, on a donkey, to a far away land, just to be counted.
Isn’t it true that we all often embark on journeys in life sometimes just to be counted? But what if, like with Mary and Joseph, in the midst of heading on our way to make our mark in the world, the God of heaven shows up to us in the fullness of gentleness and purity…in an unexpected place? What if, on our way to matter, on our way to count, the King of heaven and earth descends and is born to us in new ways? What if in this time and place….he goes from being the God of heaven…to the in-the-flesh, prince of the earth in our own lives? What if… on our journey to matter, instead of seeing a God who’s high up in the sky…we meet the real Jesus?
“What is REAL?” asked the Velveteen Rabbit one day… “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”
“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When [someone] loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”
“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.
“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”
“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”
“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept.
“Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand… once you are Real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always.”― Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit
There’s beauty in what is real. There’s beauty found in a dirty stable with smelly animals and a tiny soft baby in a manger. There’s beauty there because it’s real. Most of us can’t relate to the lavish life of a prince or princess. But we can relate to the dirt and muck of real life. And it’s that real life that our Savior chose to invade. He entered this world in the harsh reality of a cave full of animals, and it’s STILL true of him that he intersects with us in the midst of our muck. Once he’s real to us….He can’t become unreal again. And once we’re real with him, we begin to see that we can’t be ugly to him because he understands. And…it lasts for always.
“It’s a thing that happens to you. When [someone] loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real”
What if friends, this Christmas season more than ever, we let Jesus become real to us? And what if, we allow ourselves to become real with him as well?
*Image credit: The Velveteen Rabbit