Monthly Archives: December 2017

Still Makes My Heart Happy! Age to Age

450px-trio_of_handsI thought of this post as we walked the four blocks to the nursing home yesterday to once again perform our Christmas program for the residents.

I saw the connections happen again this year – just like last year and the year before that and the year before that. 

And my heart was happy.

From December 17th, 2015

Age to Age 

Directing our church’s Christmas program is one of the highlights of my Christmas season.

And one of my favorite parts of directing is taking the program on the road to our local nursing home.

Every year I give the kids the same talk.

“I don’t care if you mess up a song or forget a line. I just want you to smile and have fun. If you have fun on stage, your audience will enjoy it. And when we are done, I want each of you to go around the room, take the hand of each and every resident and say Merry Christmas.”

This year was no different.

My older kids knew the drill, but I had some younger kids who had never done a program. They looked at me like I had suddenly sprouted reindeer antlers. Touch old people? Weird.

After church, we had a potluck, put on costumes, packed up props and walked the kids the four blocks to the nursing home where the staff had the residents ready and waiting.

When we had finished presenting the program – which was adorable in it’s imperfections – I prompted the kids to start their “Merry Christmas’ing”.

As my older kids started the rounds, the younger followed.

Small hands, sticky from the potluck dinner, reached out and touched older hands – hands that had seen hard work, loved babies, clapped in joy, and wiped away tears.

Work worn hands that are now so smooth the skin is almost translucent.

I heard the sweet “Merry Twistmas” and saw young eyes full of imp and mischief looking into eyes that had seen much of life.

I saw the hand squeeze. The tentative smiles.

And it happened.

A connection was made.

And then another.

And another.

Those kids started to see beyond the wheelchairs and wrinkles and discovered real people.

Those residents looked into sweet young faces and remembered.

Both the young and the old were blessed.

And there was joy in my heart.

Peace and Hope to a Broken World

It’s the first of December.

As much as I wish I could write a lighthearted post about Christmas – I have to admit that my heart was heavy today.

It seems as though the last few weeks have been filled with sad news.

Dear people suffering through hard things.

Loss. Pain. Uncertainty.

Broken hearts. Broken bodies. Broken dreams.

Everywhere from the national news to my inbox, I’m reminded that we live in a broken world.

Yet, as my heart wept again this morning over more painful news, God brought the opening song of our children’s Christmas program to mind.

It begins on the streets of Bethlehem and the plaintive sounds of a violin is heard mournfully crying, “O come, O Come Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel…”

Then the children start singing –

“Who will save us? Who will comfort those who cry?

Who will free us – is He right before our eyes?

How long must we wait for deliverance?

When will God turn his head and hear us?

And bring peace and hope to a broken world.

And bring peace and hope to a broken world.”

That cry is still heard today.

People are searching for hope.

For peace.

For comfort.

People are still living in darkness and fear.

People are still asking when God will turn His head and hear them.

But the story doesn’t end there.

It goes on to tell about a baby born to a virgin mother.

It tells of angels proclaiming the news to shepherds on the hills outside of Bethlehem.

A Savior is born!

Emmanuel!

God with us!

The children continue to sing –

“That holy night, when mercy fell like rain,

and God broke through our darkness and our pain.

That holy night, when love came down to earth.

Emmanuel with us, in a fragile baby’s birth.”

God broke through the darkness.

He broke through the pain.

He sent mercy!

That holy night brought hope.

It brought peace.

The world all around us is broken and hurting.

We have the answer.

As we enter this Advent season, may our hearts know it.

May our lives reflect it.

May our words echo it.

He will save us. He will comfort those who cry.

He will hear us, He has opened up our eyes.

Jesus is king, King forever.

Praise to God who is faithful to save us.

He is peace and hope for a broken world.

That’s what my heart needed to hear today.

How about yours?