silent night, holy night...
peace on earth...
goodwill to men...
i repeat these phrases to myself under my breath as i drive almost daily through endless traffic jams, where the irritation and haste and anger reveal the mental condition of 90% of the drivers in this city. there's an edginess. horns honk, not in conversation ("move over, coming thru, excuse me, pardon me, wow, that was close") as we normally hear...
i murmer, "goodwill, goodwill"
and steer my trusty van over the ghastly potholes
and beside massive trucks in all the wrong places
and behind jeeps with guys hanging off the back
and through dozens of people randomly crossing the road regardless of lights
and around tricycles loaded to 3 times normal capacity.
i watch the red faces, the sweating foreheads, the motorcycles- oh, dear God, the motorcycles- who flash in and out and around the vehicles heedless of life and limb.
i catch myself sweating, steering hard, accelerating too fast, braking too suddenly, muttering under my breath...
then i remember...He promised peace on earth.
this is not the way You want it to be.
the malls are madness. let's not even talk about the malls.
let's not talk about the restaurants packed with people eating stuff they should not be eating, shoveling the chemicals down and slurping back the caffeine and sugar...blaring music making it impossible to think or talk....
exhausted, i pull up in front of my white house, my heart longing for the quiet and peace of my green yard and my cool rooms.
it's a struggle to have the grace for this season. i need grace.
i need to remember that despite the chaos that surrounds this time of year, and the way the world has simply forgotten the silence and calm and gentleness of how it should be-
it is still Christmas.
and there is grace.