Do they know it’s Christmas?
Her eyes peered out from the blanket drawn up over her mouth. They were strangely alert eyes for someone in intensive care. Her kidneys were failing and they were failing at a rate that left no possibility of transplant. Alcohol. We said a prayer : “Gracious God, help Jenny surrender to your higher power.” I left with the benediction “Try to remember, you’re always in God’s loving hands.”
As we left the room, she inquired about clothes she would need if they released her for Christmas. Her sister had brought the clothes, but she cursed anyway. “Jenny! In front of the Pastor!?” her sister scolded.
So Christmas for Jenny will be another one separated from God’s love. And then she will die. It’s not the cursing per se. It’s the assumption that God is at my disposal rather than me at His/Hers. We should know from the Christmas story that it’s okay to surrender to God. God didn’t come to the picture perfect families you see in the Christmas cards. God came into the world through a poor pregnant teenager (You don’t’ have to believe in a virgin birth.) and her confused fiancé, a man who made his living with his hands. They submitted and so should we. We shy away from language that was once used to frighten people into joining the ranks of the faithful; but I really don’t know what our destiny is without God. Rather than continually doubt, why not try to believe?