The memories of our lives stand like the four candles in a hidden handmade Advent wreath obscured by the family Christmas tree. One day, as you are rushing across the living room—to go shopping, to go to work? It doesn’t matter, now—you catch a glimpse of a crude Christmas icon. You move the artificial spruce sprig of the Christmas tree you bought last January, and you see a rustic world of wonder: concealed, but ever present. “Did John make this in the third grade?” “No, no. I think we got this at a sale after Christmas. Hmm. No, I think I snagged a deal in a yard sale in the subdivision ten years ago.” It doesn’t matter. You let it go. You focus. You connect. There is this thing: the simple thing, the hidden thing. Somehow this humble Christmas box clutter has become the most precious thing in the world for this moment, a moment about to be lost in the countless moments, but now sanctified and suspended in time. You gaze with innate wonder upon the rustic beauty of the scene, a rough-hewn tangled circle of twigs, not much larger than the rounded, old muffin tin where the cornbread was made last night, four thin candles childishly forced into the twisted twigs, one of the little wax torches snapped by the force of little fingers, no doubt, and taped back together with Scotch tape, a wrinkled, yellowed bandage for the holy thing. And there, in the middle of the homemade wreath, a small, mass produced “Christ candle,” likely a Yankee Candle™, signifying the essence of the Advent message. You breath in the scene. The rarified, evergreen oxygen forms a thought exhaled like fine mist: “The small, rustic scene is what Christmas is really made of.” Yes. “The small things like memories: precious, timeless, become heirlooms, when shared with another.” The door bell chimes. Your otherworldly moment is stolen. Or is it? No. You think to yourself, “It really is ‘Christmas Time Again.'” And you gently release the Christmas tree sprig. It releases. The barely noticeable movement of the limb stills, the elegant adornment veiling the modest treasure of what really matters. You open the door and a small package awaits.
God was born in a manger. This changes everything.
Words and Music ©℗ 2017 Michael Anthony Milton (Bethesda Music), BMI. All rights reserved.