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On the Eve of Winter

Do not stand at my grave and weep. I am not there. I do not sleep. I am a thousand winds that blow. I am the diamond glints on snow. I am the sunlight on ripened grain. I am the gentle autumn rain. When you awaken in the morning's hush I am the swift uplifting rush Of quiet birds in circled flight. I am the soft stars that shine at night. Do not stand at my grave and cry; I am not there. I did not die.

--Mary Elizabeth Frye

This author was an orphan; her parents died when she was three. It is probable, when one understands that this poem is in answer to a young Jewish girl separated from her dying mother by an ocean during a time of unrest, that this author must have began a universal communication with her mom and dad as a very young girl. And as an adult moved with compassion for a soul suffering the same distance, she tried to relay, with a few simple and amazing lines, a sort of vast yet personal connection that exists between layers of life. There is a comfort in nature.

Faith, hope and love are all a dialect. Words build worlds. Somehow, as a young girl, Mary learned how to find her parents as LIVING. It's likely she could not remember them with her conscious mind, but in her heart she never forgot them. The spirit is wise. Though in another place, they were not far from her. She trusted this place to be good and their lives to be active, and she literally perceived them as being everywhere, with her in all seasons. Resurrection mocks the grave and a coffin is only the door to it. And with her poem, she paints a version of the objects of her love being larger, being much more than we who are presently bound, and being more beautiful, more versatile, just...more. And she knew those who loved her back and shared her blood still had their eyes on her. And their prayers around her. She could sense this, witness sights and notions of their presence, and she believed.

She believed enough to find a language to express it.

And then she gave it...

And God said, "Let there be Light," and there was Light. (Genesis 1:3; NIV; emphasis mine)

On the eve of winter, we are entering a phase that represents death in nature as a sleep. Nature itself tells us death is temporary. Faith is something within that looks well beyond it--always. Winter must happen for the spring to have something contrasting to rise through. We understand rotation in the seasons of the earth, but not in our own lives: relationships, circumstances, health, finances. Winter is not failure. It's necessary. A snowflake should not cause panic, but peace. If one looks at it very closely, it is designed far more intricately than we think and sent from heaven to our hand for a specific reason. The reality in this realm is that we must go through stagnant portions, and coldness--it can be cruel, but this is in order that we might be reawakened at a higher level and expand. Find the beauty in it; there is much.

Christmas is a lovely time. The hush of darkness and low wind, the soft blankets of blue and white that cover the landscape at night, the stars that give off no sound...and in echo you can go quiet and yet be kept, safe and warm, on the inside. You can rest, for now, and not miss out on what will inevitably be green and vibrant in another day. The manger was humble and look what came from that.

Some trees have a family to circle them. Some trees are starkly alone. Some have love and others just lost it. But instead of skimming over the top of Christmas, whether through the distraction of too much, or the sorrow of not enough, light your candle that night anyway. Take a moment to watch it glow. Ask yourself how your inner light can transcend and connect the good worlds that are. Is there anything you can say...

For you were once darkness, but now you are light... (Ephesians 5:8(a); NIV)

This verse is not contingent upon what is around you, or who left you for whatever reason. It has nothing to do with death; it has everything to do with LIFE coming through it. This verse is only contingent upon Who is in your heart. What has your First True Love done for you? What hasn't He done already? What won't He do for you, Forever? With His personal gift to you coming in the manger on the light of one star, He simply asks you in a still, small voice, on the eve of your winter to do that very same thing for the world. In His image.

Reach out...

Our time is counted here. If there is a way to bring love this year, do it. If there is a message you want to give, a call or visit to make, plan it in. Don't let it go another year...

Light travels farther in a winter, from God to His people, from stars to the earth, from mangers to your door no matter where you live. He can find you. He is the glint on snow. And the love in your heart can communicate to those living large in eternity all the way down to those little ones on the carpet, looking up to you to learn a language. What does your heart say? That's what we all want to listen to.

Every Christmas passes. Spend this one well. Light comes from within. Don't hide it this year.

Send it...

New International Version (NIV) - Version Information -

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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