It is Christmas Eve. I am sitting in church, early as the children prepare as acolytes for the midnight service. I await friends I’ve asked to join me as I write on my blackberry.
I am always in awe by the architecture of our church, by the stained glass above the altar that inspires me every time I take communion, by a choir of amazing voices accompanied by a skilled organist. Tonight, however, it is the simple experience of the peace of being here that leaves me in awe.
I have received the gift of knowing how it feels to just ‘be’ this Christmas. To realize I am free. To know I do not have to answer for my faith in my own home, defend those with whom I worship, choose between a person and God, to make excuses (lies) to other people when I no-showed rather than participate in another power struggle (argument).
I have opened the gift of being joyful, and it gives me great pleasure to share it. The gift of being truly loved for who I am, not who I am expected to be as an ever changing and unachievable standard. The gift of happiness.
So here I am. Me and my blackberry and my friends and my God in my church with my children and my church family. Thanking God for more than the gift of Christ’s light in the world. Thanking God for peace. Thanking God for the chance to finally understand what it means, to know it, to be in it. Amen. Merry Christmas.