A rain of light, by Sam Kemp, age 8
The house is wrapped in mist and fog this morning. It is far too warm for this short day, too warm for four days before Christmas. But I’ve moved out of planning and collecting and culling, and into setting my feet in this day, so I’ll do that, and leave off the wool socks. The cold will come with the new year.
Yesterday my eight year old commandeered the camera on its tripod and shot frame after frame of the Christmas tree, moving the tripod lever up and down as he pressed the shutter. The result were ribbons of light, the trails of the colored Christmas bulbs, dragged glowing across time and motion. We gasped in delight at the strange yet beautiful images he made. And I was let into one of the compensations of my boys growing older at lightening speed: I don’t have to be the one who makes all the magic.
On another evening I sat in our sanctuary as two artists worked quietly. One played Christmas carols on a piano, notes dropping familiar and poignant into the dim room. Another worked on a canvas taller than he was, at the altar, lit from above, and in under an hour, working out color and light and darkness, painted Mary gazing lovingly at her newborn Jesus. All I had to do was show up.
In this season, in which my hands have surely been very busy, God has also slipped in, giving me gifts I only had to be present to receive. A meal brought in by friends and an evening of laughter. Music poured out over our family as we opened our ears wide. Light and dark in paint and pixels. Boys’ helping hands in the kitchen. Friends north of here offering table and bed and welcome. All gifts, and they keep coming.
As the last few days of anticipation unfold, may you receive comfort and joy from the Giver of all good gifts.Regular home work goes on, but I am shedding extra things from all my lists, stilling my doing hands to rest and to receive.