The Heart of Christmas

I remember the first Christmas that I was a parent. It was 1982. I bought How the Grinch Stole Christmas that year and read it repeatedly to my 8 month old son, not so much for his sake as for mine. Like the Grinch at the end of the story my heart was growing to expanded dimensions that I had never before experienced. Until I became a parent, I didn't know I could feel so much love in my heart. I cried more that Christmas season than any other, tears of joy, tears of feeling my heart being stretched to a new size, tears of a love too deep for words. There is something about the vulnerability of a child, especially of an infant, that allows us, or perhaps demands us, to experience our own vulnerability. The infant has no defenses, no pretenses, and no place to hide. It is utterly dependent on others for its existence.

I still tear up a lot at Christmas. It's an emotional time of year for most of us with tears of grief for loved ones no longer with us, and tears of joy for the love of friends and family.

As we continue our twelve days of celebrating Christmas, the celebration of the Word made flesh and entering the world, it is worth noting that the Word chose to enter the world not as an armed warrior, but as a disarming infant.

May this disarming infant be a reminder to us of our own vulnerability and may it be an invitation to put down our defenses and pretenses, to allow our hearts to grow a few sizes larger this year. May it be a reminder that we, too, are completely dependent upon one another, and upon the Word made flesh, for our very existence.

A Continued Merry Christmas to all of you from Living Compass.