|Joy to the World|
I am especially missing this year our dear pastor friend and mentor, Grady, after his passing a few months ago. Without fail, we would receive an annual Christmas card with a meaningful message from him and his precious wife, Doris.
He was a man who committed much to memory—scripture, poetry, quotes, and even passages from books he’d read. In the latter years of his life, this served him well. He would reach into the great reservoir of his knowledge and lift a gem from its bounty to share with others.
One of the last Christmas cards we received before his death included a verse penned in his shaky but still familiar handwriting and committed to memory in the distant past:
“Welcome, all wonders in one sight!
Eternity shut in a span;
Summer in winter; day in night;
Heaven in earth, and God in man.
Great little one, whose all-embracing birth
Lifts earth to heaven, stoops heav’n to earth.”
It’s from a larger work written in the 17th century by Richard Crashaw, “In the Holy Nativity of our Lord.”
There’s much to ponder in these lines, but I want to focus on the first one, “Welcome, all wonders in one sight!”
I was speaking with someone who has suffered a recent difficult loss, and she shared they were going on a vacation soon to what I know is a beautiful place. I was excited to hear it and told her about how it’s been discovered that “wonder therapy” has great restorative power in veterans who suffer form PTSD. There’s a program that allows vets to travel to experience the great beauty and awe of the American west and they find this does a healing work in their lives. I know from experience that wonder is also a balm to those who are grieving.
Well folks, we are celebrating right now the wonder of all wonders. If we could take time to ponder how prophetic voices across thousands of years pointed to this one moment in history. If we could remember again how Jesus’ birth split history. If we would reflect on what His life means for our life and the whole world and how His coming truly does mean heaven came to earth as God poured out His love to us. I think if we did, we would find greater peace, our hearts enlarged, and our hope for future increased.
Grady wrote on his card, “Just want to share this with you on the wonder of Jesus’ birth.”
And that’s what I’m doing—from him to me to you—sharing the wonder.
Pass it on, because in this old broken world, we are all needing the wonder of Jesus’ birth.
“When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them . . .” (Luke 2:17).
I began this blog in 2010 and for eleven years, it has been my privilege to share with you each week. I do not take that for granted. You are treasured beyond anything you can imagine, and I appreciate the moments you spend here. A special thanks to those of you who take the time to share these posts with others. I am sending each of you a big hug and pray you would have a very merry Christmas, and that you may experience the wonder of our Savior's birth as perhaps you never have before. With love, Bev
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