It’s a simple but terribly weighty phrase that she speaks too casually.
Her eyes meet mine and I see more than a hard year in there.
I can tell Christmas won’t be pretty.
It’ll just be a reminder of all the holes in her life - in her family, in her friends, in her smile and in her hope.
I pull her close and whisper a desperate prayer on her behalf.
Sometimes wrapping arms around a girl and lifting your arms in surrender is all you can do.
I’m holding broken and I’m holding hurt and I’m wondering why God would make it so hard for her to believe He’s real.
And I realize He doesn’t.
We’ve built a world that screens God from her and He hurts for her more than I hurt for her and more importantly, He hurts for her more than she hurts for herself.
Patience is just so darn hard sometimes.
When worship’s over we head for the exit together.
And she whispers it almost scared to believe it - “There was just this presence - did you feel it too?
It was just... God.”
I smile quietly because it’s enough for today.
She knows He’s there, and that’s enough to get through for the time being.
We step out the doors and snow is falling all around, covering black slush and stepped-on snow angels -
and blanketing the world fresh and new.
Part of a Christmas series here on the blog: Seven straight days of Christmas Creative Writing - a 7-day journey to the manger through creative words.