Today’s CliffNotes is guest written by Bekah Powell, Christ Church Children’s Minister.
Dear Christ Church,
I got a horse for Christmas when I was 9.
I had already opened all my presents and eaten half the candy from my stocking. My sister had gotten a puppy – a black ball of fluff – and my brother had gotten a fat pony named Concho. I looked around at all the paper and ribbon and my new doll and fun game and my ‘wanter’ was still on – not satisfied.
Then my dad said they had one more thing for me. Our whole family walked outside and there, tied to our barnyard fence, was a big beautiful gelding, looking at me sideways out of liquid black eyes. He had a red bow tied on his mane, but I barely noticed. I just ran through the gate and threw my arms around his warm neck. I named him Dancer.
That has always stood out to me as the very best Christmas – not just because it’s an amazing gift for a 9-year-old girl or because things started to change for our family that year and nothing was quite as simple as it had been.
But mostly, it was the best because there was something so completely magical about going outside and finding that where last night there had been nothing, now, just outside the gate, there was a horse. Where it had looked like the day might end with me feeling a little gypped (even though I wasn’t), suddenly, mysteriously, I was the luckiest girl in the world.
This Advent, I’m learning about yearning. Yesterday, I was praying for a friend who just lost her mom, and the grief and injustice and brokenness felt too heavy. Too big. I wanted it fixed.
But that yearning – unlike my little girl wish for a bigger, better present – actually incapsulates the Advent season. It’s not a bleak despair that either succumbs or controls. It’s a powerful pulling of what will be into what is. We don’t wait without hope. We ache because we keep looking, hoping that where there has been nothing, there will finally be magic.
And there will be. The Savior is coming. When He does, He will bring the joy, beauty, justice, and love we long for with such extravagance it will erase even the memory of what came before. “We know who He is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us – an unbelievable inheritance!” (Romans 8:16-17a, MSG)