Today I am imagining riding on a donkey when about to give birth. Going to Bethlehem in order to be counted in the census. How uncomfortable, how painful. And yet at the end, the joy of the birth of the Baby Jesus. I grew up with this story from my own cradle, so I have said the “baby was laid in a manger” as if that is a normal thing. As I said it from rote and didn’t consider what a humble beyond humble start our own Lord had. It is a great consolation to me this year.
I am haunted by the sight I beheld for an hour yesterday at the meeting. A beautiful woman in a black suit. She usually comes dressed like that because she hits the meeting on the way to church. She looked great yesterday, but after a while, I noticed that her skirt was quite short and she was sitting in a way that “nice” women in short skirts never would. Then I looked at her face and saw that her eyes were crossing, just before closing for a while before opening with a start. Then I looked closer and realized that she hardly looked like herself and she must be drunk. So so so so sad. I cannot imagine the pain of going to an AA meeting drunk. But I have known many who have done it and later gotten sober. After the meeting, she was surrounded by women. Bless them all, I know she will be cared for. And for some of us, it was a sad reminder of how wonderful it is to be sober.
I’ve got a huge day ahead. One I am looking forward to greatly. Cooking all day. Feeding my family. Opening the small things I have wrapped so beautifully and placed beneath the small tree. There will be no drunken fights, no broken glass, no shame tomorrow.
I will go to Mass at my new church tomorrow. I am so excited to be going to this wonderfully holy place. No drums and guitars, no cutesy sermons, no stuff that I needed so much when I came back to the church. I am glad that in God’s economy there is a place for everyone. I think I have finally found mine.
My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed; for he who is might has done great things for me, and holy is his name. — Luke 1:46-49