Monday, December 7, 2009


I have had a hard time sitting down to write a blog these days... not for lack of ideas, exactly; not for lack of desire; and not because of a lack of time, believe it or not... it's more that my thoughts are still festering and simmering, have not yet reached culmination. Best put, I am waiting...

And maybe that there is the culmination - the waiting. I am waiting to sort out my thoughts, to achieve the "ah-ha!" moment of my musings. In the meantime--

I am waiting for Christmas, for the celebration of Jesus' birth. I love the anticipation almost as much as I love the day itself. I love the traditions - the decorating, the carols, Countdown until Christmas books. I love the excitement of my children, growing bigger each year as they understand more and more about the holiday. I love reveling in the time before the big day arrives.
Recently I overheard the phrase, "Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable." The original context of this quote describes the role of the newspaper, and Finley Peter Dunne is credited with coining the term. It was the first time I'd ever heard it, and it struck me to the core. I am waiting to figure out my response. I am comfortable, too comfortable. I want to be afflicted into action, afflicted into doing something more than I am doing now. But what? For whom? How? And when?
In many ways, the Christmas holiday greets us in a new way each year. We may take out the same old decorations, put them in the same old places, make the same old cookies, tell the same old stories - and yet each year, there is something new and different. Sometimes it is new and wonderful - the birth of a new baby, such as our sweet Pax. Sometimes it is terrible and painful, such as the death of a loved one. Sometimes the year has been so good, we hate to see it end. Sometimes the year has been awful; we can't wait to bid it good riddance. I sense a change coming, not a bad change by any means, but a change. I feel too comfortable this year, too lucky, too fortunate. I'm not sure I have done enough, am doing enough for those who have struggled so much, who are struggling still. I sense a change; I feel an imperative to do more.

And so I wait.

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