What comes to mind when you hear that word? Red roses and sparkly diamonds? Silvery moonlight? Hearts and glitter and flowers and hugs and kisses?
The thing that we picture when we talk about love is often something nice and pretty. We like to imagine love as safe and canny, and enjoyable. But it’s not. Love isn’t safe. What comes to mind when we picture “love” should not be touchy-feely. We like to think that if love was visible it would be pink and lovely and comfortable.
But the reality of love is the cross. Tears–pain–darkness–blood–sweat–grime–wood splinters in your skin.
God is love, and He loved us even when it meant abandoning His son to torture and death. To love someone is not to be made happy by them. It means choosing to hang on and never let go, and let them drag you through things you never wanted to experience and don’t know how to handle. Loving people is painful.
But it’s worth it–so, so worth it. It’s so, so beautiful.
Love is the ultimate clash of beautiful and ugly. It is healing and life running to death and pain. Loving is impossible on our own. We could never be brave enough. You can only truly love someone when you pray for God’s help, and fight to bring them closer to Him.
It’s Christmas!!! The greatest gift in the world was given today!
And that’s why Christmas is a time of giving.
So I thought I would post these now, as a present to all my faithful readers. These are three pictures I drew of things in The Sacrifice, and I thought I would post them to tide you guys over.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t considering the Christmastime busyness when I planned our fall/winter schedule, and I haven’t been getting in as much writing and editing as I had hoped. And editing is turning out to be a bigger job than I had expected, and I’m considering leaving out a character because he doesn’t play a very major role. So. . . The Sacrifice might be a little later than I thought. I’m very sorry, and I’ll get it up here as soon as I can.
Thank you all for your patience and your enthusiasm!
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. . . The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
I drew a couple pictures recently, and then realized they were a little Christmas-y, so I thought I would post them. Enjoy!
I was inspired to draw this squirrel when we left a cup of tea outside by mistake (a while ago, when it was much warmer!), and I found the teabag torn open like something had tried to eat the tea-leaves!
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.”
When someone in your family has a birthday, it makes you want to do something nice for them. You want to make them feel special. It’s easy to tell someone “happy birthday!”, and it usually makes them feel good. But would we be willing to do something more?
We can have the right mentality about Christmas, but that doesn’t feel like enough, does it?
The older you get, the less exciting Christmas becomes. (My sincere apologies to all my readers who are younger than I am.)
You begin realize that it’s not necessarily the best time of year, it can be kind-of stressful, and there’s always that inevitable after-Christmas-let-down.
So when you get old enough to realize you shouldn’t center the season around presents and you’ll probably just be disappointed if you do, you were never crazy about the food or decorations, and you like the music but you can’t live off jingle bells–what next?
Well, you turn to what should have been our focus in the first place–Christ.
You don’t go to a birthday party just because you want the cake (I least I hope you don’t!), you go because you want to encourage whoever is having the birthday.
The last song on Rend Collective’s Christmas album is called “For All That You Have Done”. Jesus has a birthday because He was born to be tortured to death. He has done everything for us. Given us everything.
The least we can do is celebrate His birthday for Him.
Painting Chinese characters–with water. They’ll evaporate in a matter of hours, but he still does it.
This lady was a waitress at our hotel’s breakfast buffet and was incredibly sweet! She helped us figure out what to feed our girl, told us what Chinese kids often eat, and brought our breakfast up to our room our first morning with Lucy!
An in-country plane-ride to Guangzhou! Our sparrow had never flown before, and she was giddy with excitement! That girl is so brave!
I actually thought the food on the in-country flight was better than the American food! 🙂