Sunday, December 20, 2009

Broken Christmas

I miss family and tradition most at Christmas.

My family was in ministry as I was growing up. We traveled and sang in different churches, up to 200 per year. At Christmastime, we were always traveling, often to the southern states. While this musical venture provided many wonderful opportunities, it meant the traditions of holidays enjoyed by others were not part of our upbringing.

I do remember decorating the house for Christmas, the silver tree with rotating colored spotlights, the indoor/outdoor light garland around the picture window, rolling/cutting/baking Peppernuts (a nut-sized cookie enjoyed by the handful), vain attempts at making divinity which never turned out like Mom thought it should and "New Years Cookies" which were actually deep-fried dumplings made of sweet dough with raisins, then tossed in a sugar mixture.

As an adult with my own home and family, traditions have not been easily established. There are just the three of us and we have never had a larger family Christmas with immediate relatives. We have built our lives into our church family and often enjoyed Christmas dinner with friends and other "orphans" who didn't have family close by.

As a result, as Christmas approaches each year, it brings mixed emotions. This year seems more challenging than others as Facebook is full of those speaking of their plans. We've made plans too, and they will be wonderful. But I wonder if sometimes those plans are a diversion away from the entire point of Christmas: that Jesus came to seek and save those who are lost, broken, orphaned, hurt, bitter, disapointed.

My Christmas prayer is that I will see the beauty of Christ through my own brokenness, knowing he came to redeem that and use, for his own purposes, this orphan who seeks the light that shines through eternity from that first Christmas.
In Brokenness You Shine

When life becomes a shattered dream
That's slipping through my trembling hands
I need to know that You are near
To know You see each falling tear
When there is no one else who understands

When I can't find the words to speak
You hear the pain in each heart beat
Before I even call to You
In my deepest hour of need
That's when You come and pour Your mercy on me

Your beauty shines
Your love surrounds
Where cries of brokenness are found bring hope alive
Help me believe
And trust You one more time
In brokenness You shine
In brokenness You shine

Let comfort be a living thing
A river flowing from my grief
Where thirsty souls can drink their fill
And find in You their heart's release
And through my sorrow show Your freedom and hope

How could I know when others said
A word or two then walked away
That you, the Man of Sorrows
Would come near to stay
You'll always stay

I want to see
Your beauty one more time
In brokenness You shine
In brokenness You shine

Words by Steve Green and Doug McKelvey*
Music by Bernie Herms
© 2005 Birdwing Music (admin. By EMI CMG Publishing) / Steve Green Music (admin. By EMI CMG Publishing) / ASCAP / Songs / BMI / Banahama Tunes (admin. by The Loving Company) / ASCAP

*Lyrics from Steve Green Ministries Website, accessed Dec. 20, 2009


  1. Thank you for posting this. My husband left 3 weeks ago and hasn't returned to us. He is in need of healing of his depression which was the result of some wrong choices in business. Bless you for your encouragement Joyce!!

  2. I hope you get my reply here. Thank you for sharing your story. Here is an article I also found encouraging...

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