Glad tidings of great joy

Celebrate with anyone, in any way. I pray that with the holiday comes joy and hope.  Those things are the lights that can’t resist cutting through darkness and pain.

That reminds me of a great quote I read in (or on? at? what is the appropriate preposition here?) The Rabbit Room, a writer’s haven on a similar plane of awesome as Senior Sem for Writing, only with Jesus at the head of the table:

“The Truth is a lion. Whoever heard of defending a lion? Just turn it loose, it will defend itself” (John Milton).

This Christmas I’m thankful to have many happy blessings, but my levity in contrast to so many people’s suffering and hardship leaves me feeling self-conscious and spoiled, like a child who’s finished off a tray of sweets intended for the whole party. As loss breaks off into void, leaving aspirations unfulfilled and dreams too short to be satisfying, there are likewise few words under my control that I’d deem worthy of soothing such stinging abrasion.

So I defer to better writers, who’ve seen more. This lion begs for a good run around the wilderness.

“‘Gandalf! I thought you were dead! But then I thought I was dead myself. Is everything sad going to come untrue? What’s happened to the world?’ ‘A great shadow has departed,’ said Gandalf, and then he laughed, and the sound was like music, or like water in a parched land…”

Another nail in another coffin
Arms that held you return to dust
Yet in our grief we know death must be a liar
For no goodbye is ever good enough
How could it be everything sad is coming untrue?

The winter can make us wonder
If spring was ever true
But every winter breaks upon
The Easter lily’s bloom
Could it be everything said is coming untrue?
Could you believe everything sad is coming untrue?

Broken hearts are being unbroken
Bitter words are being unspoken
The curse undone, the veil is parted
The garden gate will be left unguarded

Could it be everything sad is coming untrue?
Oh, I believe everything sad is coming untrue
In the hands of the One who is making all things new

What audacity!

These are Jason Gray’s lyrics to “Everything Sad is Coming Untrue, Part 2,” with an epigram from Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.

When I first heard this song, I liked simply that it was “real,” meaning it contained not only beautiful things, but also horrible things, and those things made the most sense to me. Hurt is easy to remember; ugliness stays in your mind. While everyone here in the USA is hard at work pursuing happiness, isn’t it happiness that runs the fastest, leaving you panting in the back with disappointment?

So as I continued to listen to Mr. Gray’s soothing tune as well as Part 1, I realized how bold he was to say that “everything sad is coming untrue.” He calls on more than wishful thinking–rather, “the hands of the One who is making all things new”–to bring about this change.

This post ends only halfway resolved it seems, but I have to get going. Thankfully, though my words run out, the Story never dies.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


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