Sunday, December 24

It's Christmas Eve...

Surely, it is an understatement to say that my mind has been overburdened as of late. I can't even begin to write here what has passed within the last couple of days...the usual combination of mirth and melancholy (more emphasis on the latter)...

And tomorrow is Christmas...a mystery that i haven't even begun to ponder. In My Chariot of Sleep (Pip, Alec, Sarah and I) pulled together a small album of hymns and songs to give as a Christmas gift to family and friends. Pip wrote a song about the incarnation called "Blessed Morn", a seemingly misleading title, for the song is that which i could easily describe as being nothing but dark and sombre. Pip and Alec's voices are hushed in weak, almost mournful whispers. And if it wasn't for the last two lines of the song i would be right.

You came down
to this black pit
you gave us love
we despised it
we cut our throats
you kissed our scars
we took your life
you gave us ours

and i
deserve to die
and i
deserve to die

We made no room
in our hearts of dust
for your love
but you made room for us
thirty-three
years crowned with pain
your body sheiding
us from rain

and i
deserve to die
and i
deserve to die
i
deserve to die
i
deserve to die

O Blessed Morn
Christ Our Savior Born

And with those last two lines i can describe it as thankful and hopeful, with those last two lines it becomes an acknowledgement and a celebration of a life led in complete self-sacrifice. Pip and Alec's voices are not weak, they are humble, meek and grateful. It is dark, it is sombre, but hope accompanies all things with which God has his Way.
And though hope is somehting that is almost too hard for me to hold onto right now, i can't deny its presence even in the deepest and darkest of times.

I've been reading The Robe by Lloyd C Douglas, published in 1942, one of my favorite books. It centers roughly around the crucifixion, and how it affects the lives of the main characters. Yet none of them ever meet Jesus, and his role and death is really almost a subplot in the whole scheme of the story. A young Roman soldier named Marcellus and his slave Demetrius are two of the protagonists. Throughout a series of misfortunes, Marcellus is given the task of nailing Jesus to the cross. He is also the one to win Christ's Robe after casting lots for it. The result of this traumatic experience throws him into accute mental torment and anguish, from which his slave worries there is no means of escape. Except for one thing...

This afternoon i got to read about his freedom from that emotional prison. But i won't say what brought it about...though i'm sure one could venture a guess...
I don't want to explain too much of the story because it is fascinating to read it and allow it to unfold on its own. But it deals a lot with hope, and how the life of Christ, this "lonely man" came to save that of the one who participated in taking it from him.

" 'It is very mysterious, sir.' Demetrius was spacing his words deliberately. 'I had hoped that you might be able to throw a little light on it. May I ask what conclusion you have come to?'
Marcellus sighed and shook his head.
'The more I think about it,' he said slowly, 'the more bewildering it is!' He rose, and moved toward the house.
'Well, sir,' volunteered Demetrius, at his elbow, 'it isn't as if we were required to comprehend it. There are plenty of things that we are not expected to understand. This may be one of them.' "

It is extremely beautiful. And a great comfort to me right now...though i'm afraid at the moment i am in that place of skepticism and wondering how there can be any means of escape from my own heart of darkness...

It's Christmas Eve. I'm tired today. i'm still sick...I slept through the morning and into the afternoon. But i'm also mentally tired. I'm praying desperately for God to free me of some of the emotional burdens that are making me so weary...mostly because i can't share them with anyone...and i see no hope of relief. And it makes it hard to even speak, interact, to function...

Pages before the quote above, Douglas, explaining the extent of Marcellus' decline, writes...
"It was possible, of course, that time might dim the tragic picture that filled his mind. He would pursue a few distracting studies, give his restless hands some entertaining employments, and try to resume command of his thoughts.
But it was hopeless. He had no interest in anything! Since his arrival in Athens--far from experiencing any easing of the painful nervous tension--he had been losing ground. The dread of meeting people and having to talk with them had deepened into a relentless obsession. He was afraid to stir from the house. He even shunned the gardeners.
And now--he had gone to peices. In an utter abandonement of all emotional control, he had made a sorry spectacle of himself in the sight of his loyal slave. Demetrius could hardly be expected to maintain his patience or respect much longer."

I can honestly say that every word describing his state could be written about me, except replacing Demetrius with my family. I think my family is very frustrated with me. And i don't blame them.
I fear my outbursts and what they may do to people around me. So it's just easier to be "unsociable and taciturn" (as Miss Bennett would have put it).

I have been spending hours and hours writing lately, trying to make sense of my thoughts...this here is but a glance, it seems, to me!
I have written most of this with a headache and while feeling distracted and only partially coherent...so forgive me if it is disjointed and depressing. I'll probably come back to it later and wish i had never written most of it...but oh well.

Lots of family coming over tomorrow...i'm not sure how to feel about that yet...

As soon as we get some of the songs up online i'll say so. They are really wonderful. Alec did a version of "Come Thou Fount" that is amazing. Pip's cover of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" is haunting. Look forward to it!


It's Christmas Eve...


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1 comment:

Alec said...

I love you, sister. Praise God that we can rest in Him.

xoxo,
A