I walk the aisles of the store, quickly scanning each shelf, glancing back at my enormous shopping list, and feeding an endless supply of Goldfish crackers to my small son. The stores are completely crowded this time of year, with everyone finishing up last minute Christmas shopping and double-checking their list of who has been naughty or nice.
“Oh, I’m so sorry”, I whisper as my shopping cart bumps into another shopper’s.
“Humph”, he grunts at me and walks on down the aisle, scowling at the crowd.
I feel my spirits start to fade too, as yet another announcement blares out over the speaker that there is a SALE, and it is for a LIMITED time, so I need to HURRY! The Christmas music seems to be getting louder, I realize the check-out lines are getting longer, and my endless supply of Goldfish crackers turns out to have an end after all.
Right in time for a cranky toddler.
Is this what it’s all about?
I stand completely still in the middle of the aisle, and for the first time, I really look around me.
I have been in the store for almost an hour and had never stopped to really look around and see.
If Jesus walked into this store, would I see him? Would I take time to notice him? Would I just grunt at him as we bumped elbows? Would I snatch away the last sale item from him and give a momentary triumphant glance after my sale victory?
“There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance,
nothing to attract us to him.” ~ Isaiah 53:2
I shamefully but honestly realize that I probably would not notice Him at all in the crowd. Jesus would not burst into the store with an entourage and use the loud-speaker to announce His arrival. Loudness is not His style. He speaks in a still, small voice. After all, on His long-awaited birthday, He slipped quietly into our scarred world. He left the paradise of heaven to become flesh for my salvation, and yours.
If I lived in Bethlehem so many years ago, would I have noticed in the quiet night that the Messiah had come? That the Hope of nations had quietly made His miraculous arrival?
I realize that I miss Him so many times in my daily life, when He whispers with His still, small voice. I pray for answers, long for intimacy with Him, cling to His promises, but yet, so many times… I drown out His voice in my loudness and chaos.
A loud, chaotic mall full of Christmas shoppers…. in my heart.
This Christmas, could we stop and look for Him? We may see Him in the face of a child who feels alone and is longing for hope more than a shiny bicycle under the tree. We might see Him in the lonely eyes of the widow or the uncertain glance of a young, single mom. Would we hear Him ask us to help another family who is struggling to put food on the table?
Would we do it for Him?
I pray that God will help us to stop, really look around, and to be His hands and feet to show His love this Christmas and to point others to the One who came to save us.
So that we might have Life.
Is there any Christmas gift more wonderful to share?
By: Melanie Moore, Only a BreatheLeave a Comment
Jenny C. says
Gosh it really is so easy, especially this time of year, to get caught up in the hurry and rushing around. Which is crazy really considering that Christmas is supposed to be all about Jesus and we can let it get all mixed up with so much other stuff. And your choice of pictures is so perfect…draws me from the crazy crowds back to what it’s really all about. Thanks so much for sharing! (And praise the Lord for goldfish!)
Hi Jenny! Thanks so much for your comment! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it 🙂
An (un)limited time offer says
[…] Read the rest of this post on (in)Courage, one of my favorite sites, where I am overwhelmingly honored to guest post today… Tweet This Post Cancel reply […]
As I have read this, I felt the message within my heart and my tears fell down. It reminds me, it rebukes me and it gives me thoughts about the true essence of Christmas.
Thank you for sharing your heart.
May God bless you more.
So touched by your comment, Alma! Thank you so much for your kind words… I have to remind myself many times, and in fact, this was written as a reminder to my own heart.
Its the pressure extended family puts on us! I just want to be together!!
Sometimes it IS very hard with the pressure! 🙂 We just have to keep reminding ourselves not to get caught up in all of it… at least that’s what I’m trying to remind myself today 😉
Hope you have a very special Christmas!
Julie Sunne says
So true, Melanie! Losing Christ in the midst of preparing for “Christ”mas is very easy. Let’s all remember your words to “stop, really look around, and to be His hands and feet to show His love this Christmas and to point others to the One who came to save us.”
Thank you, Julie! I really appreciate your comments! Praying your Christmas will be a very special one and filled with His peace.
Jann Cobb says
Thank you, I needed these words today!
Thank you, Jann! I wrote it as a reminder to my heart too 😉
David Joyce says
Go Melanie!!! Ooo Ooo Ooo Ooo
And great post =)
Thank you, David!!!! Appreciate your support!
“but yet, so many times… I drown out His voice in my loudness and chaos.”
yes, me too.
Merry Christmas to you and yours. may we all look more closely for the One we are celebrating.
Amen, sweet friend. I have to keep reminding myself of this…. 🙂 Thank you so much for your comment!
Amy Hunt says
This is so beautiful, Melanie. Shopping at this time of year really can be a bear–and yet, looking for Him, even among the crowd–as He appears in faces we see all around us–it’s such an opportunity. You reminded me of this. There is peace, even among this.
Rich blessings as you See.
Thank you, Amy! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your comment! YES. You and I are kindred spirits indeed.
shelly foster says
At first with budget being tight I had NO Christmas spirit. Then God quietly reminded me ” Christmas is NOT about the gifts you give or receive… It is about celebrating my birth for I had come to eath to save your soul” So NOW I am comeptly joyous and excited because we will be going to church sharing in his love with family and friends!!! Take a moment stand in that cowded store and just STOP and marvel in his LOVE!!!! God Bless and have a Blessed CHRISTmas!
Exactly! I think sometimes even with less “stuff”, it’s easier to really see *Him*. I pray that this Christmas will be a wonderful one for you, and that you will feel His presence in a very real way.
Beautiful and so true, Melanie!
Thank you, Jennifer! Hope you have a very Merry Christmas!
“After all, on His long-awaited birthday, He slipped quietly into our scarred world. He left the paradise of heaven to become flesh for my salvation, and yours.”
Beautiful. Merry Christmas!
Brenda @TripleBraided says
Melanie, this brought me to tears! I miss Him so often this time of year (I’m embarrassed to say) just hurrying along thinking of my own world. Thank you for this reminder as we head into the Christmas weekend. You are wonderful, my friend!!
Nancy Youree says
Thank you for the reminder ~ beautiful post… His long awaited birth deserves a celebration! I am from Kenya so I enjoy the beautiful house and decors, I never tire doing it since I grew up with no electricity or running water water.. I look at this day thanking Jesus for bring me this far but many time I end up feeling guilty after reading all this blogs on keeping it simple etc. I think we can celebrate Christ in a beautifully decorate home too right?
see my post and let me know