December 28, 2012Little children all across town were awakening to gifts and surprises galore. The young woman in my car was not. Instead we were driving to the Camel Club where she would spend Christmas day in AA meetings as part of her program of recovery. She was a talker. She talked about her previous work, her family, her home town. She teared up when she said, "I have lost everyone and everything I ever loved because of my poor choices." We rounded the corner just as the sun was rising on this Christmas morning. Rays streamed through the pines as we traveled eastward. Zechariah's words came to me and I spoke them out loud. "The dawn from on high shall break upon us and shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, and guide our feet into the path of peace." A moment of silence settled on us. We talked a bit about hope in the world, and the work we are all called to do. My passenger was working to set her life straight and to make amends with her mother. She had a letter I offered to mail for her. I did not go home until I found a mailbox and sent that letter off. I hope it was written and received with grace and forgiveness and love. Since Christmas morning, I have thought a lot about what poor choices, un-forgiveness, denial, self-centeredness, ill will do to corrode our souls and deny the fullness of life that Christmas brings to us. A Light is born to us... one who is the Way, Truth and Life, yet we too often have chosen darkness. It is little wonder that the world is a mess. We have not lived the gift of Christmas. We have not worked hard enough at recovery. My Christmas passenger is spending all her days working to recover. What in me needs recovery? What am I leaving undone? Unattended? Where are the broken pieces in me and in the world around that need the breaking dawn of God with us? Christ the Savior is born. Christ the Savior is born. How will this make a difference in my life and in the world that sits at the end of my fingers? O Lord, bring light and life to my Christmas passenger. Set her free from the bonds of addiction and give her strength to recover her life. Bless her with peace beyond her understanding and keep her spirit strong as you lead her to places of healing. Guide your broken hearted to wholeness and our feet to the paths of peace as you have promised. Thank you for the new day and the new opportunity to get it right. Amen.