It's hard to be whole on Christmas. Sitting on the floor surrounded by a mountain of gift wrap, I find myself uneasy because I know that I'm part of a very small population of the world who can say that. There's a holiness in letting your heart ache for brothers and sisters who you do not know and in weeping for injustice worldwide, but don't just ache. Resolve to create things worth hoping in and being joy in the face of trial for others to see. In the season of advent it's hard for me to rejoice because I know that there are people, who I know and who I do not know, living without homes, food, love, laughter, healthcare, shoes, warmth, acceptance, or justice and I don't know how to resolve that in my heart and live hopefully in that reality. But I do know that I will not stop aching or hoping. There's a lot to be learned in the tension of that dichotomy. I will let it shape me and the way I create with an earnest yearning for goodness and truth and beauty.
I've hand-lettered some of my favorite Christmas carols that have social justice gems hidden inside them. As I've gotten older and realized the depth of what these lyrics mean I sing them a little louder and prouder than I did before. Below there is also a video of a live Christmas Eve performance of Mahalia Jackson's "Sweet Little Jesus Boy". She gets it. I hope you let your heart ache a little and rejoice a whole lot more this Christmas.