Lord, I pray this Christmas, that I would see hearts instead of faces. Open my eyes to the lost and hurting. Show me the one who needs a hug and a little attention. Don't let me miss the widow, the orphan, the prisoner, the one who thirsts. Help me to be mindful of the single person who doesn't get as much loving as a married person, and help me to notice the wounded married couple, who are confused about how to "do" this coming week. Reveal the sadness of the grown children who've recently lost parents and the parents who've lost children.
There are so many who will not laugh and eat to their heart's content, or take photos and relish in the festivities. And there are many who will enjoy the parties and never once think about who You are and why You came. Help me to recognize their hearts too. And in all the noticing and loving, don't let me forget to remain in communion with the One whom it's all about because without You, I can do nothing that is of eternal value. Amen.
Continuing the gratitude...
561. for my three girls who performed with such varying personalities in their Christmas program
562. for how my son wriggled and squirmed but patiently watched performance after performance (as the girls were also in the adult cantata)
563. for the beautiful dusting of snow that sometimes comes after Christmas
564. for the final week of Advent stretching out before us... some busyness behind us... more opportunity to focus on Jesus
565. for the "Breath of Heaven" that lightens our darkness
566. for the girls' winter reading challenge that has them excited
567. for Christmas crafts and busy hands
568. for dark rooms with sparkling lights and a warm fire
569. for untouched, untrodden snow on our deck that glistens in the sunlight
570. for family reunions that remind us where we've come from and help us to love a little more throughout the year