On Lent (the mess I am)

I missed the Ash Wednesday service at church this year, but it’s usually my favorite time of year. I like the entire Lenten season. It’s a reminder of my humanity and the messes we humans make.

I spend much of my time trying to hide my messes, and I am mostly messes.

I am the girl who’s rushing out the door with breakfast still in my hands, brushing crumbs from my face as I walk to work again late again.

I’m the girl crying again after too much wine for reasons I can’t put into words.

I’m the girl whose search for love has at times caused wounds that haven’t quite healed, who has wrecked and been wrecked by relationships.

I’m the girl who first took the apple, turning it over in my hands before taking a bite

I’m the girl the Pharisees and scribes wanted to stone

And instead of trying to hide it, You put ash on my forehead, a sign the world can see.

And You ask me to walk with You a while to the cross

Come on, you say. We’re coming to a hill.

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What I’m dreading about the Christmas season

This may end up being a series, I’m not sure.

There are plenty of things to love about Christmas. Presents, spending time with friends and family members you love. Good food. The beginning of the redemption story if you’re a Christian. But let’s be honest, as with anything, there are down sides.

One of the worst things about the Christmas season, in my opinion, is hearing “Christmas Shoes” over and over on the radio. You know, the song. It’s the one about a little boy emptying his piggy bank at a store to buy a Christmas present for his dying mother. SPOILER ALERT: He doesn’t have enough money and the song narrator pays for them for him.

I cannot, for the life of me, figure out what people enjoy about a song with a gut-wrenching narrative aimed at making people cry.

 

If you haven’t heard it (lucky you), here are the lines that usually get me: “Could you hurry Sir? Daddy says there’s not much time. She’s been sick for quite a while and I know these shoes will make her smile and I want her to look beautiful if mama meets Jesus tonight.”

(No joke, I just typed that from memory).

That was usually the line where I would turn the radio off so I wouldn’t ruin my mascara. Now I turn it off because I’m bored with it. And I don’t understand why people like it.

Isn’t Christmas a happy holiday about the beginning of redemption for mankind? At the very least it’s about giving and celebrating love. How this song with its dying mom/ poor son, tear-jerking narrative became a December staple, I’ll never know.

Newsong released the song in 2000 and it became a mainstream hit for the Christian vocal band. It also inspired a best-selling book, a made-for-TV movie and countless church Christmas plays. Evidently someone out there likes the song. If you do and could fill me in on why, that would be great.

I just don’t get it.

What are you dreading about the holiday season?