Thursday, December 15, 2016

Cindy Lou Who

Where are you Christmas, why can't I find you?

The commercials this time of year are full of luxury cars, diamond rings, fantasy vacations. All with a big red bow tied on top. Churches are extra beautiful, with greenery and poinsettias everywhere. Every store wants to sell us the perfect gift. Because if we spend enough, our loved ones will get what they want, and that will make us happy.

The news footage doesn't share the vision of sugar plums. Aleppo. China installing weapons systems in disputed waters. Homeless people literally freezing to death. Murderers everywhere. Slanderers running amok with fake news.

Where are you Christmas, why I can't I find you?

Some say there is a war on Christmas. I agree. But I don't think it is because of different cultures or political correctness or Christianity falling out of fashion. It should never have been the fashion to begin with, if fashion is all it was. The war on Christmas is coming hard and breaking in wave after wave of assault. And it's coming from the great disparity between those who can put the big red bows on gifts and those who can't put food on the table for their children. In every war there are permanent casualties.

Where are you Christmas, why can't I find you?

America is fractured into groups who've lost the ability to talk to each other. We talk at each other, spouting ideology, but if everyone is screaming, who can possibly be listening? Good people believe we must help the poor. Good people disagree on how that should be done. Meanwhile, good people are rolling up their sleeves and doing it. That work is urgent. It is necessary to our very survival as a civilized people. It does not depend on government programs or elected officials. It depends on the Cindy Lou in each of us to find the heart in the Grinch. Who is the Grinch? Our own miserliness that demands our own way or fights so hard to keep what we have that we turn a blind eye to our own power for good to help those in need.

Where is Christmas? It's not in the gifts or the tree or the light or the music. Those only serve as the backdrop. Christmas is in the cold, the damp, the animal stable. Christmas is in the hope born to a mother who dared to say yes to the ridiculous, a father who put aside his own pride and married a pregnant girl. And not just that one baby 2000 years ago. Hope is born again and again every time someone takes a chance on the ridiculous notion that giving is the thing that will save us. That giving will save Christmas from becoming actually ridiculous.

What can I do today to stand up for good, to offer help in this cold winter? Imagine if all of us spend time each day seeking out a way to help. What if the first thought in our morning mind was, how can I be of service today? I say the world would change. I say the war on Christmas and every other thing would be over. Because good will triumph if enough of us say that it must with our deeds and not just our lips.

Where are you Christmas? "To be determined". By us.

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