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Songs not about Santa...

We weren’t even there yet and I was critically telling myself it was a bad idea.  

It was late, they were tired, I was tired.  But the days of the week were running low, slipping through the narrow funnel of time-left and all-the-things-still-to-do.  With Daddy out of town and Mommy running low on energy and patience and everything else.  A heavy still-to-do list in my pocket and I was pretty much thinking this outing was doomed from the start.  

We had jetted off to Target the night before and it had been a near fiasco.  And here we were, another night after dinner and out running around in the early evening dark.  We slowed and allowed eight deer to pass.  I would probably hit a deer tonight.  That was my thought.  That would just be whipped cream on the top of a spilled peppermint mocha right now.  I had nearly had a heart attack and an immediate ugly-cry at Target when I feared I had lost my keys.  

Just.  Stay.  Home.  That's what I should have done.

But I had things to pick-up and not another day to do it in, so it was tonight.  Had to be.  I loaded them up and rushed out the door.  Half-way there my oldest is coughing and wants his water.  Oops, Mommy forgot.  Please, don’t have a fit, please don’t have a fit, hey, if you’re good, I’ll get you a juice box!  Crisis averted!

And then we enter town and the white lights strung on the trees along Main Street were all blinking hello and tidings of great joy.  I felt the excitement, the thrill, the wonder that Christmas always brings with it.  I pointed them out, not like he couldn’t see them on his own.  “Do you see those lights, honey!  Look how pretty!”  And he exclaimed, “I LOVE it!  I love Christmas THE BEST!”  I told him that I did, too.  Christmas was my favorite, too.

Without thinking, I asked, “Do you know why Christmas is the best?  Who was born at Christmas?”  Surprisingly, immediately, he answers: “JESUS!”  My eyes pooled.  I told him that yes, Jesus had come as a baby, so He could grow up and die for our sins.  That without Him we are just complete messes and so lost and God knew that.  And God knew we needed Someone to save us. 

Because Christmas isn’t just about a baby.  It's about a Savior.

I talked with him lightly and simply about how Jesus is the greatest gift.  How that’s why we love Christmas the best - because Jesus is the best.  And he added, again, little child’s understanding illuminating my own, “That’s why we have all the lights!  Because Jesus lights us up, right?!”  

How did I keep breathing?  Keep the van on the road?

Do you think so, I ask him.  Do you think that’s why we have all of these lights to shine so brightly in the dark, to remind us that He is the light in us?  That He is always bringing glimmers of hope and dispelling shadows of darkness and fear and doubt.  That He is always a running strand of twinkle lights, never going dim?  

Of course.  And I think so, too.

And then we’re almost to Walmart, the blink-blink-blink of my turn signal is going wild, waiting.     I start thinking about what I need to grab off the shelves, how quickly can we get in and get out and get home.  Trying to estimate how long little brother will last before the "Travis Apocalypse" ensues.  And then it’s his little voice, so honest and pure in so many ways and he tells me, doesn’t even ask,

“Mommy, tell me more stories about Jesus.”  

I burst into immediate tears.  Couldn’t speak.

My hustle is silenced and I nod, even though he can’t see me in the dark of the van, him sitting behind me.  You’re right, little man.  You’re so right.  We should just keep on telling more stories about Jesus.  

More than when to get those photo-cards printed up.  

More than simply peace on earth.  

More than where we’ll be going when and are there any days left in December even now for anything extra?  

More than advent games and more than special treats and more than stockings hung with care.  

More than anything, more than everything.  

More than going caroling, more than hot chocolate in a mug, soothing cold hands, more than the jingle jangle of the Salvation Army bell.  

Over, under, through.  Just tell more about Jesus.  

Savior.  Messiah.  Redeemer.  Friend.

Our light.  In the darkness.

“And I saw no temple in the city, 
for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty
and the Lamb.
And the city has no need of sun
or moon to shine on it,
for the glory of God gives it light,
and its lamp is the Lamb.
~  R e v e l a t i o n   2 1 : 2 2 - 2 3 


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