Last weekend here in Michigan the sky was clear and the temperatures were almost balmy. The neighborhood around Granville Cottage is called the Forest of Riverview because when they developed the subdivision they built the homes among the mature trees. Our small lot has over nine trees. All the streets are tree-lined. So Saturday and Sunday was a flourish of leaf-gathering and yard-tending.
I’m leaving before dawn for my commute to Bethel in Jackson and arriving back home after dark these days while we are waiting for the house-sale to close. Last night I made a few phone calls on the way home enjoyed some Christmas music. Lois called to remind me to pick up some corn chips to go with a black bean and corn soup she had made for dinner. I stopped by the European Market for them and spent a couple minutes encouraging the woman who waited on me. She was burdened about her young daughter. I listened and encouraged her to connect with a local church.
When I finally pulled into the Forest of Riverview I realized that the neighbors all around me had been doing more than yard work on the golden, sunny weekend… Many of them were getting their Christmas lights and displays into place. I instinctively slowed down to enjoy the beautiful sight and remembered with a bittersweet pang the sound of eight children in the car sing-songing “Ooooh-Ahhhh.” With the memory my heart was tender again with the beauty of Christmas.
“God,” I thought, “Make yourself known to the families that live in these homes, that the light of faith would glow in every hearth all through the year and the people would know the Christ of Christmas.”
As I walked into Granville Cottage Lois was busy with dinner and Hazard greeted me with his usual enthusiasm and I was freshly aware of how much our lives have been graced by the presence of Christ incarnate.