Here’s something I wrote on December 23, but am just posting now.
Today, the heaviness of Christmas felt near to me. As I drove to work, I was imagining what it must be like to be a mother on Christmas. I’ll bet mothers have this special kinship with Mary– they share in her labor pain; they fear for their own children the kind of torment that Jesus bore.
Then, on my way home, I found myself running an errand on the chilly, familiar Euclid Corridor. I parked in front of Trinity Cathedral, a place I used to visit often during my undergrad years. I used to go there to walk the labyrinth, and I thought today might be a good one to walk those same steps, and pray and reflect before the Christmas. I was sad to find out that the labyrinth had been taken down to make room for extra seats for Christmas Eve services.
But I stayed a few minutes anyway. There was no one around, so in the quiet of that beautiful church, I took a moment to pray and prepare my heart for Christmas. It occurred to me on the way home, that I rarely think to go inside a church to pray. I don’t think anyone saw me slip in or slip out. It felt like a scene from a movie: me sitting alone in a pew, talking to God. Only in the movies, when people do that, God is a distant friend, or a stranger, even.
But there, I felt contemplative, and I knew that God was not- is not– a stranger. He is alive and close and a sweet dear friend who I usually hang out with in my bed or in my car or at my kitchen table, but today, we went to a beautiful church, and it was quiet, so we could spend some time really catching up.