A Christmas letter to my children;
I am sitting by the tree this morning thinking about Christmas, and trying to shop online but not finding quite what I am searching for. I am thinking this morning about the things I really wish I could give you, if I could give you anything . . .
The gift of laughter. Especially at those times when life is too serious, too dark, too ordinary. I wish I could give you the ability to find the irony, the hilarious, the deep gut-busting soul-cleansing kind of laughter that heals you.
Art. Art in words or pictures or music or friend. I hope, when you need it most, you will find the art that blows away the dust, shatters your idols, makes you more alive.
The grace of failure. If I could, I would let you fail enough for you to understand grace, how to give and to receive it, but protect you from the failures that would ever break your heart.
Healthy Debate. Just when you begin to think you know everything.
A true friend.
Silence. To hear the snow crunch. To hear the still small voice.
Story. Your own, the story of people, the story of God. The ability to enter into story; to believe, be moved, become.
Language. The strength of words, of understanding, the wealth of vocabulary.
Wonder. I hope that storms and stars, science and art and green green grass will always take your breath away.
The ability to forgive. This gift will always be the hardest, the most painful, the most necessary.
To see the Good, the God-image, in every person.
Empathy. I hope you will be gentle with people, that you will love mercy and will defend the defenseless.
Simplicity. Simplicity of faith, simplicity of wealth, simplicity of purpose, simplicity of desire.
Gratitude. "It is gratefulness which makes the soul great."
I would give you mystery. I hope that life doesn’t make perfect sense to you. I hope you will embrace that gap, will peer into it with childlike faith and hope and imagination.
Freedom and rest in the unchanging, everlasting love of Christ.
I cannot give you these things; I am only beginning to learn how to accept them myself. But every year when I fill your stocking, and every day these are what I hope for you to find, to grow into, to live, to pass on to others. Much more than the gifts I can buy you, I hope for you these things.
(this is a repost from a few years ago)