Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The Morning After

The morning after Christmas I awake in the dawn light and feel relieved...Christmas is over.

I love Christmas, but I'm always relieved when it's over--that very evening, and especially the next morning when my head is not whirring with all the last minute details of creating the perfect Christmas. That I feel this way, makes me rather sad.

This is why the bylines (that caught my eye in the days before Christmas, but I didn't have time to read, or didn't want to feel guilty) : Pope says Christmas is hostage to materialism, God is in the shadows, sends me on a google search December 26.

As I read the article, I know the Pope speaks the inspired truth. The article says: **

Pope Francis said the many in the wealthy world had to be reminded that the message of Christmas was humility, simplicity and mystery"Jesus was born rejected by some and regarded by many others with indifference," he said. "Today also the same indifference can exist, when Christmas becomes a feast where the protagonists are ourselves, rather than Jesus; when the lights of commerce cast the light of God into the shadows; when we are concerned for gifts, but cold toward those who are marginalized."
My agreement with the Pope coincides with the tragic circumstances in Venezuela. Months ago, my friend, told me to keep my eye on Venezuela. The country was the perfect study of failure when government abuses its power, when socialistic practices ruin an economy, when leaders have more concerns for themselves than the people they are elected to serve. In the months following her talk, I've watched for news: Military takes over medical supplies; mothers storm bridge into Columbia to find food to feed their children; Venezuelans escape by boat; Venezuelans told to grow their own food; and this morning's news--After his family goes without food for three days, a sixteen year old boy dies from roots he ingested while searching for food in a field.

The Pope may be right about Christmas being taken hostage, but the beauty of Christmas is the spirit of Christmas, which has no date, no boundaries, no midnight deadline for wrapped presents and bike building in the cold garage while hiding from the kids. The spirit of Christmas is the spirit of Christ and charity. Charity is the pure love of God and his son. The pure love of God enables us to purely love humanity.
When the 25th rolls into the 26th, it frees us to do more for others who weren't on our Christmas lists.

And so I search as to how I can get food to Venezuela.  The frustration, at this point is that Venezuela is refusing any humanitarian aid, because that would signify failure, and the delusional leadership is not ready to admit to the world its people are suffering. But, until then, there is always a person, a cause, a nation in need. Venezuela will eventually ask for help and when that day comes, the spirit of Christmas will be flourishing still.