I’ve been listening to Christmas songs since the beginning of November.
What can I say? I’m a Christmas-er. It’s in my blood to go all out for holidays, especially ones that have such a world of their own, as Christmas does.
One song, however, has been nicked from my holiday playlist, and breaks my heart every time I hear it now.
“Where are you, Christmas?” by Faith Hill has stabbed me between the ribs in the uncanny way it has paralleled the shambles of my faith life.
I hadn’t realized what the lyrics would do to me until I played it in a habitual pattern I have for my Christmas songs, and when I did hear it, I immediately turned it off. Let me quote a few of the lyrics:
Where are you, Christmas?
Why can’t I find you?
Why have you gone away?
Where is the laughter
You used to bring me?
Why can’t I hear music play?My world is changing
Does that mean Christmas changes too?Where are you, Christmas?
Do you remember
The one you used to know?
I’m not the same one
See what the time’s done
Is that why you have let me go?
Losing the innocent view of the holiday season feels much like it does this year living in the Church.
There is a strangeness with change, adjustment, and purification. Knowing the other, outside of yourself, must lead to a season of mystery, fear, and hesitation.
There will be times that the rituals, routines, and amenities no longer dazzle or set at ease as they used to. This is a startling thing, but it is a good thing. It means you can further explore why you have set your roots there, beyond having been born in it–beyond the ritual you were comfortable in and now must question because the aesthetics changed.
It also means you can find new beauty, truer beauty, that will settle deep in the foundation of your soul as something that no one can touch, even when the strangeness comes upon you again.
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