Joy -and sadness. yesterday for me was full indeed.
Another amazing night with friends and new faces at my last Christmas show of the year in Berwyn, IL. SUCH good folks at Nitelight Arts Center! Old friends, new friends, PUSH worship band cooked. Thank you all!
But I am also reminded of friends and loved ones battling cancer, others in hospital with other diseases, etc., yet also brilliant art by another friend -who recently fell and hurt himself.
A birthday of one of my best friends -who is now in heaven with the Lord.
First real snowfall in Chicago -beautiful, birds flocking up more and 26 degrees with a Northwest wind at 10mph.
The beauty of our house decorated, Christmas cookie-making by a sweet baby-sitter and her little friend.
Homeless people who are facing their first (or perhaps 20th) holiday in confusion, sometimes addiction, businessmen who could care less as long as their personal wealth can accumulate.
The joy of remembering a little Child born poor who stayed poor and was executed over power, hate and position.
A time of hope and joy as well as stark truth at Cook County Jail this Monday evening when I bring another music set and share amongst staff and incarcerated people, some quite guilty, some innocent, all locked away except in heart.
All this brings to mind:
“Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till he appeared and the soul felt it’s worth
The thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn
Fall on your knees…”
That’s a hard place to be but exactly where we must all go inbetween the joys and pleasures we do enjoy.
I will begin the Monday set with a 1 string “diddley bow” slide guitar I recently built. The first song prior to the Christmas tunes including some I wrote, will be an old African-American spiritual. I so love my friend One String Willie’s (see You Tube
or his website for more) “Soon I Will Be Done With the Troubles of The World” I decided to open the set with it- even in the midst of a lot of encouraging Christmas songs.
The reality of sadness, people lying in hospitals, shelters, the horrible California fires, political upheaval and service personnel off in harm’s way in the world, far from loved ones or themselves living in the streets all conspire to the extent I cannot merely rejoice in every moment.
Yes, Paul writes “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice” but the Book also reminds us to “Remember those in prison as though you were there with them”, to “Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.”
Those who simply want to forget cannot love as God calls us to love. He not only never forgot His promises but entered in to the suffering of those who could not “fix” themselves nor their loved ones.
Another amazing black gospel song goes “He came down… DOWN… to take away the sins of the world!”
Our house is beautiful and the reminders of His first Advent are everywhere. Noel! New birth, new life offered to us!
I am, we are SO very thankful to Jesus for His coming 🙂 But for now, we watch and wait.
God give us grace to “see what HE sees”!
As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn