Just noticed I used this “report” image for my Thursday post. Oops! I just now changed it, but meanwhile, people might have wondered what the image had to do with the post.
We had a nice visit with our oldest daughter Emily on Monday afternoon and evening. On Tuesday, we (including Emily) went to Grandma Anderson’s house in Maple Heights for our annual Christmas celebration, where we met up with daughter Shelley Daniel and her newly-enlarged family who drove in from Virginia, arriving about 2 pm. Emily and our youngest daughter, Rustie, had to go to work the next day, but the Daniel family drove down to our place to spend a couple days with us after Christmas.
It wasn’t a white Christmas, but the snow began early the next morning, so by the time the fun transferred to our house on the 26th, we had enough ground cover to play in. Unfortunately, Shelley hadn’t packed snow suits, boots, etc. because (1) those things are too bulky (we’re talking about packing for five kids here); and (2) it seldom snows much around here anyway. But they went out and played in just jeans, jackets, and tennies, then came in and warmed up with… snow cones? Anyway, we put their clothes in the dryer, toasted their shoes by the wood stove, and they were ready to go out again the next day.
They left for home Friday afternoon. It was a great visit. We enjoyed getting to know our newest grandkids a little and spending time with the original crew. Everyone was healthy and well behaved, appreciative of their gifts, and formed happy memories.
On Thursday, we enjoyed a visit with Art and his new bride, Jennie. They celebrated Christmas with her family on the 25th, then waited for the weather to clear before driving the hour to our place on the 27th. There was never one time this Christmas when we had all four kids with us at the same time, but that’s life. We were happy to see them all even if it was never all together.
I’d like to get inside Mikaiah’s mind. Born about 4 years ago in an African village, somehow separated from his parents and put in an orphanage, he was then placed with an adoptive family but lived in a foster home in the Congo for almost a year while the requisite paperwork, red tape, and payola processes were accomplished. He finally arrived at his new home in Virginia less than three months ago after flying literally halfway around the world in the care of an escort, plunging him into an alien culture surrounded by a bunch of pale-faced people who spoke a foreign language he didn’t know a word of. The things that boy’s seen and experienced in such a short time!
He’s happy and affectionate, playing in the snow with his new Uncle Art (Do you like snow, Mikaiah? “Yes.” Is it cold? “Yes. It’s pretty!”) and wrestling and laughing with his brothers and whining first thing in the morning, “Daddy, I want my iPhone!” (Scott upgraded to the new phone and gave Mikaiah his old one, which no longer makes calls but still has all the games and cool stuff the kids like. Avery and Bennett got iPods for Christmas from their paternal grandparents. So now the three of them are content to sit in a row pushing buttons on their devices, which, if nothing else, keeps them busy on the long drive between Virginia and Ohio.)
But the world is still a dark place. There are still 150 million orphans who won’t have new lives. There are still billions of men, women and children living in darkness and despair with no hope in the world and no personal understanding what Emmanuel means. Year after year at Christmas, some of my own loved ones hear the story but turn a deaf ear and blind eye to the life-transforming truth of it, preferring to remain imprisoned in their pride and self-deception.
It was a nice Christmas, yes. But, as always, I pray that one day we’ll be able to truly rejoice together in the coming of our Lord.