It was the sound of the Supremes in 1965. Stop in the Name of Love, before you break my heart. Even those who weren’t listening to the song in “real time” know those sounds and motions of Diana Ross and the Supremes. Those out stretched arms, the classic motions of breaking (which looked more like breaking a stick across your knee) and then hands across your heart; I could do those motions in my sleep. And today, in this Advent season, I wonder if God ever feels that way about us. Does it break God’s heart to see us running like hamsters on a wheel, frantically buying more “stuff”, putting up more “stuff” and even wanting more “stuff” in the name of Christmas. Does it break God’s heart? Does God want to shout “Stop”? Maybe God skips to the next line of the song and simply whispers… “think it o-over, think it o-over” ?
So let’s start there; let’s think it over. Think about a pre-Christmas moment, an Advent moment when you felt a nearness to God. Sometimes it is just a prickly feeling, or a sense that we are part of something so much greater. It may be when a special ornament or decoration brings back a memory. The memory of a greater moment. Think about one of “those” moments. Really think about it, relive it.
Here is mine: My daughter Laynie was born on the night before Thanksgiving in 1985. On the day after Thanksgiving I was getting restless in the hospital room and I slipped down to the gift shop at Beaumont. (great gift shop… just sayin…) I found a “baby’s first Christmas ornament”. It was a newborn baby wrapped in a little red blanket. I took the ornament back upstairs to find the nurse and my new daughter waiting for me. I remember so well. Laynie nestled in one arm and I picked up the ornament with my free hand. I held it tightly. My life was not simple or easy during this period and in many ways a new baby frightened me. So I gripped the tiny ornament and clung to Christmas, to a God who came to earth to be with….. well, me. Everything would be ok, better than ok. It would be good. Laynie and all my children are special gifts, each in a unique way. Laynie is a care giver and brings the gift of comfort and caring into our family.
True confession: I had not thought about that moment in a very long time and as I started writing the blog I took time to clear my head and “think it ooover”. This great memory came back to life.
Grace and Peace at Advent.