My friend and I stood in the gymnasium. It was cool and dim, and we waited, through the gentle hum, for the lights to blink and bring forth light. Our children ran around us, a strong, whooping, muscle-pumping band of activity.
And I was captivated by my friend's face.
She was radiant, even in the near-dark. Her face shone lovely, warm and bright. Peace seemed to spill from her, and it pulled me in.
My friend's relationship with the Lord is growing deeper, wider. His love is stretching into new places and her heart is cracking wide to receive Him.
And I want to be close to Him.
And I want to be just like her.
Loving. Listening. Growing. Changing. Becoming deeply, truly beautiful, from the inside pushing out.
I want His love, His peace, His grace to fill me. In deep places. In still places. Where it's quiet and needing and hidden. But I want the overflow, too, that it changes me on the outside, so that I'm shining with His love, even in the dark.
Lord, fill me, change me, move me, until I'm light with love for You...
Those who look at Him are radiant, their faces are never covered with shame. Psalm 34:5
Thanks to all who shared special Christmas traditions and memories. Your comments, e-mails, and Facebook messages were precious.
Audrey James, Samuel pulled your name from his winter cap for Chicken Soup for the Soul: Food and Love.
Kelly Davidson, your name was drawn for The Spirit of Christmas.
Audrey and Kelly, if you'll e-mail your addresses, we'll get the books in the mail this week.
And again, Merry, Merry Christmas to all of our dear friends. We're sending warmest wishes for a deep and blessed, Spirit-filled Christmas.