Monday, December 24, 2007

O Holy Night

Sometimes moments come that are such grace disguised in the ordinary. You can never tell just by looking what is in a person's heart or where they have come from. Such a moment happened on Friday for me during a Celebrate Recovery meeting. I was tired and not feeling well. I fell asleep on the way to the meeting. I really hadn't practiced the music I was supposed to play and thankfully I had extra help doing vocals. It was good to sit and listen-I wasn't motivated to speak openly as usual (the big mouth). Afterward I had wanted to talk to a friend who was a prison employee about business there, but she was occupied talking to someone else, and so I began to speak with the friend she brought, a newcomer. You never ask why a person is in a recovery meeting-usually if the information is going to come out, it will from the person themselves. I talked about myself first and Brandon, and then she talked about losing a young child and the resulting bitterness. There was something in her face that drew me to her, and the more we talked, the more I felt that tug.

The evening starts with meeting at large and progresses to small groups. There are three groups for women, but the women met together as a single group this night. As each one shared, common experiences and themes began to come out, until finally this woman, who had stayed, spoke up. After the death of her child it seemed she and her family were treated like outcasts in their church. She could never bring herself to accept the death, let alone the subsequent treatment of their family. She became bitter at life and God. She had wanted to try again, to come back to church, to get back into a life she had once known...but it never happened. Until now. The nudge to call her friend and ask to come along, the shared experiences of the group touching her own, the desire in my own heart to speak with her and watch for her-at Christmas the theme of the season is redemption, God Himself (Emmanuel-
"God with us") becoming human to experience everything we ever could and so make Himself our perfect God-there was redemption in one small corner of the world, one small meeting, one precious life wrecked by loss, redeemed by love.


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