Omnipresent light should shine year-round

Brady C. Mallory

Brady C. Mallory

Amidst the shuffling of feet in the malls, the sounds of sleigh bells and the abundance of holiday cards, Christmas makes me think of something I learned two years ago. Quietly nestled within the modest pew inside our 130-year-old country church, my family listened to the wise sermon of our reverend, Pastor Shari. Like the soft lights of the Christmas tree, her words permeated throughout the rows of families and friends searching for holiday tranquility. Her voice filled that hallowed sanctuary with a warm essence that poured over our congregation.

This woman, whom I consider my spiritual mentor, as well as a fellow traveler on this journey, has a magic about her, and the wisdom to forgo the obvious in favor of what has been forgotten. She reminded us about what Christmas is, and what it is not. During the holidays, we feel like God is closer to us because it is the most joyous of seasons. What about the ones who do not view the holiday season as light? What about the mother who has lost a child? What about the wife whose husband is in Iraq? What about the children who do not wake up to a tree bearing a multitude of gifts? What about the strangers who spend Christmas alone and homeless?

Her story was to remind us, that yes, a light is omnipresent during the Christmases, just as it is during the darkness that is not Christmas. Perhaps through this lesson, we can remember that each day that is not Christmas is just as important as the season itself. We spread cheer to the weary, we give a dollar to the bell ringers and we serve meals in church basements for the duration of this frosty month. However, when the last of the ornaments are boxed away, and the Christmas carols fall silent, we tend to forget the light that once filled us. We get mired in sadness and feel forgotten. We also forget the tribulations of the faces we pass on the streets. I like to think when the hours of Christmas pass away; our goodwill towards our neighbors does not. There is no clock that dictates when we should cease our efforts in displaying what true humanity means.

With every holiday season that comes to pass, my wish is that everyone can find their own light within themselves. This light does not come in boxes or festive wrapping paper, but it comes from collecting all of our experiences, both good and bad, and using them in our quest to transcend into who we are meant to be.

Generally everyone carries some form of hurt with them, and the past eight years have been tumultuous for our country. I hope in the advent of this very long election, we can restore ourselves by working together again during Christmases, and, more importantly, the non-Christmases. No matter who we voted for, maybe we can all gather something from this fascinating time that we live in. Maybe we can stop carrying our demons with us, and start understanding ourselves and those around us. Let this season and beyond be a time when we can put down our differences, pain, sorrow and shame, and use all of the darkness towards a path of light.

May every age, creed, gender, tax bracket, political affiliation, race, sexual orientation and child feel a sense of oneness again. Perhaps we can stop searching, and embrace God, Buddha, Allah, some sort of spiritual providence or maybe just an inner strength we did not know we had. Perhaps the point is to feel peace on earth, even when it is not apparent to us.

No matter what you believe, or believe in, or even if you are searching for something to believe in, may some form of enlightenment grace your door this holiday season. To quote a lyric from songstress Mary Chapin Carpenter, “Come broken, come whole, come wounded in your soul. Come anyway that you know. Hallelujah. Come doubting, come sure, come fearful to this door. Come see what love is for. Hallelujah.” Happy holidays, come darkness, come light.