Monday, December 8, 2008

Come to the Quiet

Soon after my life was turned upside down by God's unfailing love and mercy, I found a book that really helped keep me "calm" about this little thing called "relationship with Christ" when it came to talking to my husband who "didn't share these thoughts" with me. (There have been many times since then when he's wondered, "Where did I leave my wife and who is this woman???") Bless his heart, he just doesn't know what I know!!! (I try not to be a HUGE Jesus freak but it's so hard!!) Oh, anyway, before I get off on that subject, let me try to keep with the reason I am sharing what I'm going to share! Author Nancy Kennedy wrote a book entitled, "When He Doesn't Believe" that I read and thoroughly enjoyed. I gave my copy away and have yet to replace it (anyone notice a theme with my giving books away???). I enjoyed her writing so much that I have followed her blog and other books since then.

I am currently toting around "Lipstick Grace: Glimpses of Life, Love, and the Quest for the Perfect Lip Gloss" by Nancy Kennedy. Not only does Ms. Nancy write books, but she also write a weekly column for her local newspaper and she's a speaker! Lipstick Grace is a collection of various columns she's written through the years. It's quite enjoyable (if you like to laugh and you enjoy finding out that others aren't perfect either and you love Jesus!).

This one article really spoke to me, especially since it's about Christmas and it's Christmas here. I emailed Ms. Nancy to ask if she had this article somewhere in electronic format or would it be okay if I retyped it and sent it to friends and/or posted it on my blog. She emailed me back immediately and said to feel free to post or send or whatever!

So, without further ado, here it is. I hope you enjoy the article like I have. Thank you Nancy Kennedy for allowing me to share!

Come to the Quiet

Shared with permission by author Nancy Kennedy from Lipstick Grace, Multnomah Publishers

Shhhh. Hush.
Stop all the fighting and sniping. Cease the quibbling and the squabbling over whether “Merry Christmas” is politically correct or not.
Shhhh. Quiet. It’s okay.
Put away your credit cards. Your kids don’t need another computer-digital-anything. You and I don’t need any more debt. Our debt is crushing us as it is.
We need a debt canceler.
Be still, if only for a moment. It’s Christmas-our Debt Canceler has come.
Off in the distance dawns the light for the nations. The darkness is pierced, and the light will never, can never, be extinguished.
Stop your striving. Take a breath. Breathe deeply the life you’ve only dared to dream of. The life where you lie down and sleep in peace and awake with joy.
Put down the bottle. Put away your grudge.
Lower your fist. Kiss your kid. Forgive your dad. Love your wife.
The One who has borne our sin is born.
Our King forever, our Prince of peace, our Mighty God, has come to us, to live with us, identify with us, bear our sorrows, give us rest.
So rest. Stop.
At my church on Christmas Eve it’s our tradition to sing of peace and silence. “Pease, peace, peace on earth and goodwill to all.” “Silent night, holy night.” “Now let us all sing together of peace.”
Shhhh. All is calm. Christ has come.
He hasn’t come to wage war on retailers. He hasn’t come to battle Santa Claus or debate whether or not the fir tree is a pagan symbol. He hasn’t come to argue with local governments over crèches and menorahs in the public square.
The government, after all, is on His shoulders. He is Ruler. He is Lord, and He has come to set His people free. To rescue and redeem. To find the lost, bind the wounds of the broken, heal the hearts of the sad and grieving, the lonely and afraid.
He has come to give rest to the weary, direction to the wandering, purpose to those who think life has no meaning. He has come to still the restless hearts of men and women, to give hope to those who cannot even fathom hope, sight to the spiritually blind.
His law is love and His gospel is peace. His yoke easy, His burden light.
He is salve for tired eyes, a hand for the lonely to hold, a lap for the child at any age to climb upon, a shoulder broad and strong on which to lean and to cry.
So rest. Take your shoes off. Turn down the noise. Switch off the TV.
Even if you’ve never prayed before, it’s ok.
Do you hear that? Can you feel it? That soft smile? That’s your God, the One who came as a baby, a lamb, a lion, a Messiah.
He smiles!
Shhhh. Enjoy the silence. Cry if you need to. Laugh if you want to. Stretch out your hands. Touch the splintered cross He was nailed to. Accept the gift.
Embrace the salvation offered by the world’s only Savior.
Forget about the sweater that doesn’t fit, the broken gadget that needs to be returned. Exchange your broken life for one that’s new, your sin for Christ’s sinlessness, your peace for His peace, your sorrow and pain for His joy.
All your disappointments, all your unfulfilled dreams, all your confusion and brain noise and heart achings, set them down.
Be still now. So very, very still.
“The effect of the righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever,” wrote the prophet Isaiah. “My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places” (32:17-18 ESV).
It’s Christmas and Chris has come to bring us into His quiet, to hush our fury, to still our rage and fear.
Christ is our gift. Jesus is our peace.
So, shhhh. It’s Christmas.

(Any typos or grammatical errors are all Cathy's.)

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jer. 29:11


Honeycombs said...

Thank you so much for sharing this, it says so much. Blessings.

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

Cathy, I had never seen this before. Thanks for sharing. And it was nice of her to let you post all of it!

Have you heard of the site blog called "Unequal Marriage" by Lynn Donovan? You might check it out. I really enjoy it although I'm married to a believer.

Unknown said...

Oh Cathy, This is an awesome post and I have not read this before as well.

Nancy Kennedy is one of the kindest most giving people I know. Her book litterally saved my from deep dispare when I was struggling in my unequally yoked marriage int he early years.

Thank you... thank you.. thank you and Cathy, so very good to meet you.. You are no longer alone on this journey and your husband will enjoy a richer life just because you believer. Merry Chrustmas.