The urge seizes me on Black Friday of all days. On the biggest shopping dayof the year, I find myself on my knees in the closet instead. Oh, don’t let me fool you. I’m not doing anything quite as spiritual as praying. I’m cleaning out boxes and bags and papers and uncovering dust bunnies that could pull Santa’s sleigh.
I throw things out.
I donate to Goodwill.
I sort and struggle and smile and see the past laid out on the floor in front of me.
As I do, I realize that God has been working on the same in my heart. I’ve had some clutter there, especially when it comes to Christmas. In one corner are memories of when I lost my Grandma during the holiday season. High on another heart shelf stood dusty hopes of having children. Add to that a bag of unrealistic expectations about the kind of family member I should be too. Combined they made me feel stifled and sad in a season that’s supposed to be about JOY.
During my journey of decluttering, I read a book by Robin Zasio. One line in it stood out to me and I can’t stop thinking about it, “Everyone is vulnerable to something.”
Look around. You, your friends, your family, the people you randomly meet during the day…we are all vulnerable to something. We all have parts of our heart closets that need clearing.
I learned what’s needed for closets and hearts: grace.
Grace to let go of the past.
Grace to see the imperfections in ourselves and each other then choose love anyway.
Grace to embrace tomorrow, this Christmas, next year and believe they really can be better than before.
Kristen and I talked about sharing Christmas carols during this series. And yet the song that keeps coming back is one we sing all year…
How Sweet the Sound
that Saved a Wretch like Me
That’s the paradox of Christmas–that though our closets and our hearts need decluttering we are still scandalously, beautifully, fully loved. God doesn’t shut the door and turn away. Instead he seeks out our secret places and calls us into the light again.
I stand in my closet now and it feels different.
I look within my heart and it feels different too.
How Sweet the Sound
that Made Something Beautiful of Me
This is day three in a week long series my friend Kristen Strong and I are doing called All Things Possible Christmas. If you’re just joining us, you can catch up here.
What is your favorite Christmas song?