Tuesday, December 14, 2021

The Most Joyful Days

I stood in line to speak to the symphony conductor after a recent Christmas concert. Ahead of me were friends of hers and a few snippets of their conversation resonated with me. “It’s so good to hear live music again,” one said. 

I’m usually singing with the symphony chorus this time of year but putting large groups of people singing and playing wind instruments together on stage during a pandemic has presented a unique challenge. Out of caution, only the instrumentalists played this year, but, hearing them again after nearly two years almost brought me and probably others to tears.

“You often don’t value what you have until it’s taken away from you,” someone else said.

For sure. 

Then while attending a recent women’s gathering, a woman deep in the throes of grief after losing her husband said goodbye to me with this sage advice, “Treasure the time you have with your loved ones.”

These experiences have left me with a renewed desire this Christmas to keep the precious ones I love and the traditions I value close and to not take one of them for granted as all of us sometimes do.

Every year, I hope to not let my Christmas to-do list overrun what is important, but if I’m honest, it sometimes does. So here I am again trying to set aside the time to just be with folks I love and enjoy them. And I want to carve out the time to do the things that are important to me. After these past two years, many of us know what it’s like to go without seeing our loved ones for some period and we also have suffered the loss of experiences, which were a joyous part of our lives like live music.

Let’s remember also that just being in the same room with someone is different from really being present in your mind as well as your body. It takes effort—to listen—to care.

Most of all, let’s worship and be with the one about whom the whole season revolves—Jesus. It's easy to lose that focus in the blur. You've heard it before, but it's like going to a birthday party and ignoring the one whose birthday we're celebrating. 

Happy week before Christmas, friends. 

“Thanks be to God for His indescribable Gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15). 

Beverly Varnado is the author of several small town romances from Anaiah Press including her latest, A Season for Everything. All are available at Amazon. A memoir, Faith in the Fashion District,  from Crosslink Publishing  is available wherever books are sold.  Also consider her other books, Give My Love to the Chestnut Trees and Home to Currahee. She also has an Etsy Shop, Beverly Varnado Art. 

To explore the web version of One Ringing Bell, please visit bev-oneringingbell.blogspot.com

Beverly Varnado copyright 2021

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