It has been a year of great learning. I wish with all my heart that I will always be able to say that. Though painful, learning makes another passing of twelve months worth the effort of entering into another.
So, what have I learned? Certainly not what I expected, definitely not as much as I should have, but with heartache, sweat, and tenacity, I feel confident that even with my weary pick I have shaved the very tiniest tip of wisdom off of the great iceberg of knowledge.
So much of what I learn has concerned that unspoken word - “shame.” My very own ghosts of so many Christmases (and all the other days too) past. Around every corner, lurking at the lines of every picture summoning every memory, it was there, and it stung and it screamed, and it was a horror. But isn’t that why Christmas is so wonderful? Isn’t that why I cannot hold back the tears when I watch George Bailey gripped with ache and disappointment as the shame of wanting more, when contentment is expected, begins to set in? Or, when the humbling place of desperation brings about the worst feeling of all…helplessness. Isn’t that why I weep when Scrooge frolics down the icy streets with a boisterous song in his heart - finally freed from the bonds of regret, shame, and fear? Christmas sets us free. Not by a temporary distraction or ribbon-gilded diversions, but by Christ.
The gift of shamelessness. The gift that rescues the helpless and empowers rather than humiliates. The gift of a Savior.
My warmest wishes for your new year - may you learn much and rejoice with freedom! And my deepest, heartiest, sincere thanks to all for continuing to come to this little corner of the internet.