“LOVING FATHER, help us remember the birth of Jesus, that we may share in the song of the angels, the gladness of the shepherds and the worship of the wise men.”
~ A Christmas Prayer, Robert Louis Stevenson
In the midnight hour, I move from room to room, extinguish the light of TV and computer — only the dream-like glow cast by my tree remaining, perched there kitty-corner to the center of three picture windows facing my neighborhood. Just over enough to the left to shine through, glitter a reflection double in red and green and gold glory on glass… leaving me room to savor the diamond swirl lights twining my neighbor’s leafless dogwood in the backdrop distance. Gently, those dogwood stars twinkle on a breeze in the velvety night, capturing me like spring leaves do, turning silvery sides up on a soft rain.
Sleep beckons. Yet, stillness reigns peace soft over a rushed-through day, a blanket of pearly snow yet to come, wooing me to bide a few minutes. Drink in beauty before pillow and bed.
Like the voices of Bedford Falls reaching up to heaven in concert for one, I burrow into my wing chair and lift up neighbors… the ones who moved due to foreclosure a few months back. The woman with returning cancer. The one who lost her grown son this spring. One by one… that they would know His arms holding them close. That His Spirit will fall as grace on each home, each life, ringing Longfellow’s bells deep and long.. God is not dead, nor doth He sleep…of hope and joy and light to their new day.
Other names…family, friends, the one who is facing fears and surgery and weary-worn with pain… a 2 year old boy, Eli, with sudden encephalitis who needs a miracle… a town in Connecticut where hearts are still shattering shards…
Safety for this one. God’s ministering angels of protection around these.
With an echo like footsteps across marble floors, I think I can “hear” prayers that have been going up for me lately too… and wonder is teary shimmer in my eyes. Like God lifting and placing splendiferous ornaments…just so… on my tree in front of me, here and here and here.
To remember, He whispers.
- The answer that came on the day I wrote about here: When answers are still on the way: Part One .
- The door that He is opening to a new way of earning with creative joy.
- The utter surprise early gift of a camera, so generously given by a friend because she knows it will help me in this new venture. Just because… she felt God inspired her to get it for me… she said.
- The dividend check that came to cover another bill…just on time.
- The favor God is lighting across my path with those who can swing amazing doors wide.
- And generosity pouring out on me from every corner.
Then…pages turning in my heartbook of prayers...Christmases of prayer journals come to mind, ones where I wrote plea after plea for someone so on my heart throughout the years.
And today when I pull out one of those to read, He puts more ornaments of remembrance in my hand, intricate and delicate as handblown glass.
Of my words to Him…
“I just want to pray circles and circles of prayer around this one,” I had written out of full heart, December 2001. “A concert of prayer and praise to encircle with songs of Your love and blessing…”
And His, back to me…
…Words that fell like revelation into my hand… about light-bringing ways to pray His Word… How a hush comes over Heaven’s throne room to hear each word we lift up…
“The thought that came to me tonight,” I recorded there December 2001, “is that You make our prayers like music, Father. Songs of Your joy and love that go ahead and behind those we lift up, celebrating them home to Your heart…”
And as I’d reflected on that thought…and a song by similar name playing behind my mind… two words of direction stirred my prayers like ripple across healing water.
Sing a song of Emmanuel over this one tonight.
I could do that, I’d thought. Emmanuel, God is with us. The prayer of my heart for this one to truly know…
But — I hadn’t been sure what the next thought meant.
Sing a song of Israel too…
What does that mean, Lord… to sing a song of Israel? I’d mulled over, that decade Christmas ago… Going first to the dictionary…
It was looking up Israel, when I found a richness to what He seemed to be leading in my prayers that I had not expected… and today, re-reading what I’d written there, I felt that falling like a star new understanding all over again…
[To be continued… 🙂 ]