When I was a little girl, my favorite Christmas present was a big old baby stroller, quilted blue, a flat canopy trimmed with white fuzzy pom-poms, similar to the one in this picture. Beautiful! But the best part of the stroller was that—oh, sit down for this--was that it was a DOUBLE stroller, room for one baby facing forward, the other backward. A feature like that that could make a little pretend mommy dizzy with strolling dreams!
That memory makes me smile because I realize that my deeper desire, beyond taking two baby dolls in and out of their seats hundreds of times, was to nurture a baby. Something about those plastic dolls of my childhood filled my heart with joy, foreshadowing my life to come, when I would be filled with indescribable happiness while holding my own children, and now the twins living in my home. (Oh, the irony! TWO!)
I think that’s often how we approach Christmas, whether we look forward to family meals, giving gifts, children’s excitement, church, music, movies, etc. Something about those activities fills our hearts with joy—and maybe--they foreshadow an even fuller life and celebration to come.
So what are you looking forward to most this year? If you look deeper into that desire, what hope might be embedded in your Christmas wishes and expectations?
Maybe you haven’t thought to articulate your deepest desires because they’re so disguised (wrapped?) in the cultural trappings of Christmas, which we’ve grown to love (or not love, depending on our disappointments). But is it possible that the deepest desire of your heart might include love and peace within your family? Reconciliation with someone? A deep joy? Personal freedom from things that are destroying you? Peace? Forgiveness? Rest? God’s presence? Hope?
If those are the gifts you truly desire for Christmas, they are available to all of us, but you can’t overlook the source--remember the poignancy and significance in the Christmas story when the innkeeper had no room for the babe.
Receive the good tidings of great joy for all people: “The Savior has come; let there be peace on Earth and good will toward men from God!” Let the significance of that sink in; let it shine in dark places and replace despair with hope.
No matter how far-fetched or impossible your hopes and desires might seem, in your heart and in your life, “prepare Him room,” because “Joy to the world—the Lord is come!” Anything is possible!
Linda Crow 2011