Creating space. This is the beginning of soul care and this is the beginning of our understanding of Christmas.
At Christmas, we create space. We offer the space of a good meal with friends and family. We offer space in our homes to bring a tree in from the outside and the space and time to decorate it--then the space to enjoy it. We want the space to sit and enjoy.
We long for the space where we can just be. The offering of space is really the gift that Mary, the mother of Jesus offered first to the Angel, then to herself; then to Joseph; then to us. When Mary responded to the angel who told her what was about to happen, she simply said, "Be it done unto me according to your Word" (Luke 1:38).
Mary's words created space. Mary's words cultivated space for something to happen that was bigger than her own life. She consented to a larger story. Mary held those words and by holding those words, her own body held the baby within. There is a lesson for us in this. For creating space is how we learn to care for our souls.
Soul care does not happen in a vacuum or by reading a book that tells you you should care for your soul. Soul Care happens when we become like Mary and yield to a space where something deep can happen in us and through us. Without space, there really is no caring for our souls. That's exactly and precisely what we do when you and I create space for our own souls. We offer to God the space for God to move--for God to show up--for God to act.
Space in a Busy Time. Christmas is a busy time. Most of us live with a breathless hurry and scurry to get "it" all done. But what if the "it" changed. What if we created space by choosing to NOT do what we felt compelled to do. What if we chose not to go to a party; not to do the obligatory open house; chose not to go but to stay at home and create some space.What if, by creating space we were, in fact, doing something much deeper; much more holy; much more like Mary's example.
We would create the space to just be.To sit by the fire; To sip on our dark, roasted, French Press coffee and lingered. Loretta Ross-Gotta writes these beautiful words for us:" Jesus observed, “Without me you can do nothing.” Yet we act, for the most part, as though without us God can do nothing.…“Oh, but nothing will get done,” you say. “If I don’t do it, Christmas won’t happen.” And we crowd out Christ with our fretful fears.God asks us to give away everything of ourselves.
The gift of greatest efficacy and power that we can offer God and creation is not our skills, gifts, abilities, and possessions. Mary offered only space, love, belief.Try it. Leave behind your briefcase and notes. Leave behind your honed skills and knowledge. Leave the Christmas decorations up in the attic. Go to someone in need and say, “Here, all I have is Christ.” And find out that that is enough." ( See the book here).
Today, I am going to have space with a dear friend. I will lay aside my agenda for his agenda. He somehow knows to lay aside his agenda for me. Together, we will sit in a restaurant and a conversation will brew that will be deep, rich and nourishing. We will create the space to be together. We will create the space to care for our own souls by not rushing--but lingering and creating the space to hold what we are going to tell each other in a sacred pause. The space we give to each other will be soulful. It will be care. It will be love. It will be Christmas.
Join me in lay aside agendas, 'to-do' lists and reconsider all the functions and parties that are on the horizon.By creating the space within our own hearts, we are saying, "Lord Jesus, there is room in my heart for you. Come! Come, Lord Jesus! In the manger of my own heart find room for yourself and by your presence within me, bring the reign of peace that my heart most longs for!"
Merry Christmas dear friends!