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Beautiful After

My story can be a rock. Sharp, jagged, unforgiving, and immovable. It sits on my chest, and if I think too much on it, the weight somehow gets inexplicably heavier. I don’t always want to carry it around with me; sometimes I want to throw it fiercely at the ones who gave it to me. But it’s sewn into my pocket, and I don’t always have scissors.


His story is straw. Available, light enough to be caught up in a breeze. Not entirely comfortable unless you lay your whole self on it, and then it serves as a good place to rest. Surrendering to sinking into it, it’s a  place to sleep deep.


My story can be dark. Full of shrouded moments and glimpses of things I don’t want to see fully. Pieces that sit in shame uncovered and pieces that scurry away from any flicker of light.


His story is a star. Glory shining without apologies, shocking those sitting in the darkest nights as it’s so completely unexpected and nonsensical. Bright light in the night? It’s impossible and happening at the same time.


My story can feel isolated. So lonely it’s terrifying. Turning over in bed and wondering how to possibly explain these complexities even to those who are longing to listen.


His story is company. Companionship on the most winding of journeys. A friend, many friends, unknown just moments before, now running to greet us sharing in the joy that there is always the next moment. His story is unlikely witnesses, running to greet their greatest gift. Worshiping in the night, together.


My story can be quiet. Spoken only to those who have earned trust over years. Shared at first in halting sentences. Shared with professionals who know the quiet and understand its depths. Wanting to be leaked out but requiring a slowing, noise dimming valve.


His story is loud! A proclamation of Hope. A life announced to the world for thousands of years, a birth that made the very heavens shout in joyful song. His story is my loud voice of praise and thanksgiving that His loud story can be mine too.


My story can be about before. Waiting for the truth. Hoping for resolution. Longing for the words of confident truth and love to be spoken over me and for me. Sitting and waiting. Waiting and wanting. Yearning for protection. Desperately hoping for hope.


His story is after. After the long, heart-wrenching waiting. After the noiseless years of no word of comfort. After the isolation of wondering if you are the only one who feels it, the only one who has to live in it. His story is after the years of dark that can still be mysteriously dark at times even though it is after. His story shines in the dark and just one flame can be easily seen flickering in a dark room. His story is after the straw is blown away and long forgotten. His story is a rock. A rock that has been removed to reveal a glorious empty.


His story is empty so my story can be full. A manger full, so a tomb can be beautifully empty. My story emptied of all its before-darkness. Living in the fullness of the Beautiful After.


Merry Christmas, friends.

The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them. Isaiah 9:2 NASB
Photo Credit: - super-massive star, called Eta Carinae, the largest member of a double-star system about 7500 light-years from earth.



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