Made for another world

"If I discover within myself a desire which no experience in the world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world." C. S. Lewis

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Where I Long To Be

I dreamed this Christmas Eve of a place I love. A place I long to be. It wasn't the North Carolina hills where my parents and family are tucked warm into a cabin, snug together. Though my heart is there. Or here in the warm, velvety south with children and in-laws, though it is a delight to be together.
I dreamed of a room in another world that holds a golden haired treasure. Over an ocean, miles away, lie men and women, boys and girls, waiting. For some it's a good life, the best they will know. For others it's just not enough.
If I could grant wishes anywhere in the world it would be for the ones I love in Dom Veternik. Serbia haunts me and I often find myself shoving down the memory of my visit, locking it in a safe place, but it always finds a way to resurface.

If I could materialize a dream I would share a warm meal with my new friends, the staff who tirelessly care for the residents, and exchange small trinkets of friendship. I would ask them what they thought of the incarnation of God, the Son putting on flesh to be with us.

I would hug, and laugh with the residents who walk the grounds. Eventually I would make my way to the upstairs room of golden haired boy (it grieves me that I don't recall his name) where he lays with Boris, Petra, and a little girl whose name I've also forgotten. Maybe I would take a book and read to them. Most likely I would do what they seem to like best, hold their hands, and sing.

But I can't be in Serbia this Christmas. So I pray and trust that Jesus is. I pray that Jesus visits this humble place, filled with the fragile of this world. I think places like Dom Veternik are where he loves to be, with the meek and mild, the small and childlike.

I'm thankful for the incarnation of all that's holy, Jesus putting on skin to be forever linked with humanity, humbly taking our cross and bearing a load too huge for our shoulders. I'm thankful not only for what Immanuel means for me but for the weak I can do so very little for. The Child's coming gives meaning and hope to their quiet lives of longing. Seen, loved, and known by a humble King, they are not forgotten.

This is my prayer for the 600 residents of Dom Veternik mental institution on Christmas:

O Zion, messenger of good news,
shout from the mountaintops!
Shout it louder, O Jerusalem.
Shout, and do not be afraid.
Tell the towns of Judah,
“Your God is coming!”
Yes, the Sovereign Lord is coming in power.
He will rule with a powerful arm.
See, he brings his reward with him as he comes.
He will feed his flock like a shepherd.
He will carry the lambs in his arms,
holding them close to his heart.
He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young.
Isaiah 40:9-11
In his kingdom, as he leads with power, Jesus is not unaware of his needy ones. I trust he will reward and gently carry those whose lot in life has been a heavy burden. Today I'm trusting the Shepherd who caries lambs close to his heart. What a God we worship! In our bounty and celebration let's not forget those living in great need. 

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