Christmas Surprise

D

’Twas the weekend before Christmas and I was on hospital call.
This weekend is known for “when you think you’ve seen and heard it all” and suddenly there’s another outlandish story. It’s the weekend notorious for the unexpected.
Or rather …

It’s the weekend of expectation. And as part of the call team I prepared myself for any surprise.

But it was not what I anticipated. No nightmarish awakening middle-of-the-night-jump-out-of-bed-race-to-the hospital. We worked hard but no 14-hours-straight-in-a-row-from-the middle-of-the-night-into-day. And I got to sleep all three nights. For the call weekend before Christmas it was pretty routine and, for lack of a better term—kinda boring mundane.

No surprises at all.

D

Wait. What did I just say? Mundane?
How can I speak so bland for what happened—or rather what did not happen
this weekend before Christmas? A weekend like this before Christmas never happens in my universe. How did I miss the miracle and dare to call it mundane?

How many miracles do we miss for mere expectation of other things?

Humming Christmas carols during the commute home I was lost in thought Sunday night as I pulled in the driveway. Nudging the car door open, I could not help but peer skyward. And I lost my breath. There it was.

My surprise.

A quick phone pic but I think you get the idea.

Gazing spellbound as clouds danced, swirling around the moon, I was wonderstruck. I sat in awe for a moment, taking it all in. The majesty of God. And I wondered …

What does earth look like down here from up there at Christmas-time?

Up there, amid blankets of swirling clouds and heavenly lights, stars glimmer and shimmer. But what about down here?
Does heaven gasp as the world wraps itself in Christmas—a spinning ornament studded with lights, glitter, and tinsel—another majesty of sorts—glistening from the most tasteful decor to the gaudy, even overdone? Or simple Charley Brown’s, from rich to poor, overdoing everything from lights to food to drink to family to travel to lavish spending?

It’s a celebration like no other. Smiling, I lugged myself in the door, feeling light as a feather.

Many said I got lucky this weekend. But it was not luck. It was so much more, or rather … so much less. Since much did not happen, I received what is nearly absent during Christmas—REST. I needed rest. Rest for the next night.

One of the most thrilling nights of the yearCandlelight Christmas Eve.

I

This is where I sing. A church filled with people from over eighty countries and all ages. And not just any music.

An orchestra accompanied by a glorious, ancient instrument—a grand organ with pipes from floor to ceiling, horns jutting from the walls. The form casts a breathtaking shadow for all who enter.

Walls of glass echo some of the most magnificent sounds ever heard.
For some it’s all about the music—multi-cultural and multi-generational, classics and contemporary. It is joyous, reverent, energetic, fun.

In the choir loft I have the best seat in the house. I get to feel the bass rumble beneath my feet, hear the horns lift, savor orchestral strings, woodwinds, brass, percussion surrounding sound—see the sanctuary fill with hearts full … or empty … or weary … or broken.

Children’s faces fill with wonder. Babies fuss. Families filling rows. For some people, it’s the first time they’ve entered a church for years. For others, it’s the only time of the year they come. And for some, they have never been at all.

But for all the sounds, lights, and rumbles it is long, hard, exhausting work.
Multiple services, focus, breathing, posture, presentation. I recall months of long practices, memorizing every word, note, count, and dynamic, climbing up and down to the choir room buried deep below to loft above, and I think—rest.

Yes, I needed rest for this night of all nights. To give the very best of myself to everyone. And to take it all in—majesty.

So we are all here tonight.
And so is He.

I

For tonight holds our greatest surprise. It’s the celebration of the world, as the glimmering earth spins in space, dripping in lavish everything.

As I gazed skyward the other night I imagined this eve—bathed in mysterious, glorious candlelight—inhaling the wonder of it all. Is God upon His throne inhaling the wonder as His creation celebrates the greatest event in all of human history—Emmanuel—God with us?

That miraculous moment when the divine intersected humanity.

Skeptics and unbelievers try with all their might to squelch Him, to destroy Him, to snuff Him out. But try as they might, the world, believers and unbelievers celebrate the mystery.
He cannot be silenced.

Just gaze at the stars above and you will see—night after night. Christmas is always there for you and for me.
You just can’t miss it.

I

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” Psalm 19:1-4

Merry Christmas from my home to yours,
Alexandria

Photos of church by family and friends
All other photos by Alexandria Sage

Referring Article’s:
http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2012/12/21/weekly-photo-challenge-surprise/
http://scottamartin.org/2012/10/30/a-story-worth-telling/
http://eof737.wordpress.com/2012/12/21/weekly-photo-challenge-surprise/

Weekly Photo Challenge: My 2012 in Pictures

Advertisements

The Weekly Photo Challenge | Sheer Joy Merge

So I’ve had a few questions as to what exactly is the “Weekly Photo Challenge”.
Since I’m getting quite a collection under that category I’m guessing an explanation is due. WordPress bloggers, you may disregard this for obvious reasons. You are considered an “Insider”. But I’d like to hear comments about what the Photo Challenge means to you.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Blue

For the rest of you, the Weekly Photo Challenge, by virtue of its title, may be self-explanatory. But for others, here’s the inside scoop.
The staff at WordPress came up this idea to stimulate creativity for those of us who handle a camera, be it the most humble cell phone camera—which is becoming not so humble anymore—to the most advanced, light years ahead of most.

Create

The Weekly Photo Challenge has just ONE rule.
Your photo must capture the one-word theme put out by WordPress. That one word is let out of the bag every Friday. I am stunned at how many are off to a running start. They answer the call with lightning speed. If you want to see some breathtaking photography drop by any Photo Challenge.
You will see some of the most incredible art.

Together

Me? Well, I’m just a bit different.
Let’s just say my right brain must be awakened slowly. I churn over things. I think. I ponder. As I’ve said before, most of my creative thought takes place in front of a sink. A light or visual catches my eye and I’m out the door, camera dangling, in a vast array of attire, all very incidental and unplanned.
It’s a good thing I live in the country.


Sun

Another thing—I don’t publish every theme.
I’m so busy with the day-job, chasing kids and pets, home creating, garden-keeping, and squeezing in a number of avocations that mine are a bit more random and, albeit … late. I usually have an idea but it sits on the back-burner until I can attend to it. But the great thing is …

WordPress bloggers are the most forgiving and patient of folks. I am humbled they still visit, even if I am two weeks late!


Friendship—The All-Time Favorite … naturally

I’d be honored if you’d hang out a bit at my Weekly Photo Challenge category place.

I hope you enjoy my visuals. They’ve been exceptional fun to create.
As for me, I eagerly catch many others that post and am impressed at the creativity that extends to a summit beyond my vision.

Purple

I find it all to be inspirational and quite simply— fun.
Sheer joy.

What about you?

Inside

“There is something that brings joy to each of us.
Find out what it is for you and work hard to get more of it.”
~ Stephen Deal

Movement

Today | WPC Habit

7:15 PM.
It’s the day job and a moment in time—a break.
Day’s end nears. Check email.
Today

Today?
Not much time left TODAY.
Camera? Just a phone.
Oh well, I’ll probably skip this one … today.

Then, a moment in time
catches my eye.
Red rainbow glint on steel, fluorescent shine,
window, shadow.
Patterns emerge. Hmmm … lovely.
Cl
ick.

I move to finish day job.
Straighten straight lines. Replenish supplies. Done.
Color, lines, and pattern again.
Hmmm … not bad.
Actually,  fun!
Click.

Maybe … something will happen TODAY.
I say good-night and walk away.

Shine again,
the long hall …
which bore the long haul.
Click.

I move again and whisper prayer,
Can You give me something for TODAY?
Not sunrise or flower …
But,
If You wish me to share TODAY
just let me know, perhaps this very hour?
Somehow?

I depart the day job.
Click.

Then … another moment in time.
And I know
Not just rainbow red, glint off steel,
pattern, lines, or shadow.
But … something more.
I peer through window.
Click
.
Smile.
Rainbow tucked amid cold stone
and fluorescent square reflection.
To reflect,
He is here … and He is not silent
TODAY.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. (Matthew 7:7 NIV)

Peace,
Alexandria

These are some of the regular sights at my day job. This is an old one. I’ll have to beg forgiveness.
Weekly Photo Challenge: Habit

%d bloggers like this: