I spent some time alone this past weekend. I didn't plan to or really want to. Friday afternoon, I drove for three hours, and then waited for three more before I met up with a great friend whom I don't get to see often. I happened to be in an unfamiliar city while a beautiful Christmas parade was about to take place. I bought a hot tea, and determined to watch the parade, enjoying all the holiday revelry, alone.
I was trying to be a big girl, delighting in the cool air, wrapping my scarf a little more tightly, and smiling at sparkling-eyed kids watching the parade. It was enjoyable. To a point. But mostly I was keenly aware of my NOT being with someone and the way that made me feel. I stepped outside myself, observing my feelings of discomfort, and found that it was hard to be familiar with my alone self.
I wasn't a mommy, for the moment, which is my ever-present definition most hours of every day. I wasn't even a wife or friend or daughter to anyone present. I was just me, under the stars. My heart searched for a comfortable, settled understanding of just me, like when I lie in the sand and need to wiggle my own form into it first.
While I sorted through this state of being alone, I realized, again, that we were made to love and be loved. Relationship is stamped into our very being. It is a thread of need that we cannot remove. The thread can only be severed, leaving loose ends, and the sting of a promise broken.
But Jesus, Emmanuel, whose name means "God WITH us," came to us when we were alone. And in need. And stinging and broken. Our mistakes kept us severed from God. The earth shuddered with a plea: O Come O Come, Emmanuel. And His love for us welled up into a great crescendo of the cries of a laboring mother, and a birth. He came. To live and die, in order to heal our thread of relationship with Him.
When I am alone, under the stars, with no one else to define me, Emmanuel does. My relationship with my Father is what defines me. And not just when I'm alone, but that definition supersedes all the others, every day, when I let it.
Phillipians 2:6-7 is not often considered a Christmas passage, but it's message certainly is:
Though he was God,
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
he took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being.
I don't think I would have made that trade - divine privileges for human flesh. In fact, I can't wait to trade in the opposite direction, when my days here are finished.
But He loves us. And so there is no where Jesus wouldn't go to be with us.
Grocery store, or parade, or cross.
No where he wouldn't go to be with me.