Have a Tender Christmas

health-happy-woman

Not everyone’s as sensitive as I am. I know this. Not everyone deeply longs for a kind look, a friendly face, compassionate eyes. Some are content roaming through the world, minding their own business in a businesslike fashion. God made us all different.

He made me tender.

I admit, sometimes it’s hard to find these things in our rushed, often “hard-boiled” world. Even in our homes (at least mine at times), frowns or cold imperviousness replace compassion.

But Jesus. In him I find a soft place. There I will find the tenderness I need. Even in the Old Testament.

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. (Numbers 6:24-26 ESV)

Twice he repeats the blessing of my Lord’s shining face. When a child at church, Pastor Pete would raise one hand and with a glad, welcoming grin send us off with this blessing from God himself. This gesture filled me with a sense of peace–and something more–security in being gently and personally cared for.

Perhaps that care lies at the heart of why I long for tenderness–it equals love. 

And of course the nativity itself exudes tenderness.

  • The husband caring for his pregnant young wife as she lumbers (almost in labor) down bumpy roads on a donkey.
  • The meager dwelling shared by tended-after animals.
  • And of course, Jesus who comes as a frail babe.

Oh, you understand my aching for gentleness, don’t you sweet child? You have felt that longing too.

How thankful I am for a Savior who knows my need and fulfills it too.

I come to you, my Savior, seeking your shining countenance and humbly basking in your smile. 

At Christmas and all the time.

Therefore

Wherever you are these next few days–traveling, shopping, at a restaurant, with family–remember to love those around you, even strangers, with a kind smile, a friendly word. They may need a touch of Christmas tenderness, too. 

Remember friends, He loves you like there’s no tomorrow.

Ocieanna