The sky is opaque, filled with snowflakes rushing along, the only thing that seems to be in a hurry. And yet they seem uncertain where they are going, just as content to plop down on my front step as to race along to the tree at the end of the drive. It is quiet and not really light yet. It seems that it doesn’t get much brighter than this Winter Solstice day.
The city has ground to a halt, frantic Christmas shoppers forced to give up their quest, a world already receding, slowing down even further to contemplate what it all means. It is at times like this that one is left with the essence of what is in their life. There is no place to go, nowhere to escape. One is just—well, one just is.
We are often uncomfortable with our “isness”. But it is gifts like today, on the Winter Solstice, which provides us with the opportunity to take an inventory of ourselves. It seems that Mother Earth has conspired to give us time to contemplate some of the more important issues that we are all grappling with.
Closed roads, piles of snow, freezing weather, and for some a loss of power seem to conspire to force us into a somewhat uncomfortable conversation about what it all means. People of all beliefs celebrate the Winter Solstice. Christianity has placed the birth of Christ close to this event. Right at the time when things were the darkest God sent an answer to our desperate prayers for meaning and deliverance. A bridge was built back to God that all peoples of all times of all faiths could make their way back and return to God.
As a Christian, I am saddened that this beautiful imagery of Christ as the bridge builder has been distorted and misunderstood. Once again on a Winter Solstice, there is darkness surrounding what should give every human being on earth hope. As humans so often do, Christians have tried to market Christ, to make his work exclusive, to limit the universal reach of what his life accomplished and saddest of all for me is the critical, judgmental things that are done that hurt and destroy others’ sense of hope and joy and their sense of being loved by God.
As I contemplate what I want more of in my life, I desire to have more love, a greater sense of compassion, and to be able to release judgments in my life—those I hold towards myself and those I hold towards others. I would like to be able to always hold possibility in my heart of what we are each becoming. I would like to hold space for that to happen in my life and in the lives of my family, friends, and fellow travelers on this planet.
For all of the winged and furry creatures and plants and wildlife that surround me, I would like to see them have the opportunity to grow into their greatest potential also. The little chickadee birds have been hanging out on my porch lately, waiting for the next serving of seeds. They seem very grateful and content that someone cares.
This Winter Solstice, maybe we can each ponder a little more than usual just how we can make a difference. In addition, we can celebrate the difference that has been made for us by a God of love and do it in a way that honors the diversity of each person’s isness.