It’s Halloween morning and “Here Comes Santa Claus” is playing throughout the house. My mom hates Halloween, so she blasts Christmas music. (I think it’s her one form of rebellion.) That means our family has to endure through two full months of listening to holiday tunes. This happens every year. Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas - but there’s something strange about carving pumpkins to the melody of “Let It Snow” while the crisp orange and red leaves fall to the ground instead of snow.
But it makes her happy.
Dark clouds are rolling in, and our home feels solitary and safe all at once. Bing crooning in the background contributes to that safe feeling. So does my moms’ sweet soprano.
And I’m here wondering: am I ever going to get this faith thing right?
Last night as I was lying in bed, somewhere in the midst of sleep and clarity, I cried.
I cried because I was missing Jesus.
I longed for him in a way I’d never longed for Him before. I wished I was back in Africa, back in a place where I saw Him in the eyes of the children, felt Him in the wind that curved against my cheek, knelt next to Him while I painted the nails of women with HIV aids.
I wanted to be stretched and uncomfortable again - because those things seem to make me closer to Jesus. In those moments, I must rely on Him, because I have nothing else to rely on.
In Africa, I was constantly chatting with Him because He was the only soul friend I had (someone whom you have a soul connection with).
But now, at home, I’m surrounded by comfort and family and luxury and soul friends.
Still, every morning, cozy mug of hot coffee in hands, I talk to Him.
And today, He and this Christmas music ringing throughout the house, reminds me of one beautiful word.
God with us.
Not just in Africa, not just when times are hard, not just when days are good, but always.
So today, instead of missing Africa, I’m embracing Him, because each day He embraces me.
God with us.