‘Twas the night before April back in 1988:
Though our flight was to Taiwan, Texas snow was quite great.
The luggage we loaded into both cars to take;
Thirteen pieces were flying overseas, for Pete’s sake.
The children, they nestled on the plane side by side,
One two and one four, as their grandparents cried.
Arriving in Asia, we found all to be
Quite different from Texas, including the tea.
Oh, how crowded Taipei was, with one million strong;
How great the pollution! “Could our choice have been wrong?”
The years, they collected like new-fallen snow;
Our Chinese got better—we watched our girls grow.
Back at home, my dad’s health seemed to weaken each day,
And my mom’s mind with Alzheimer’s wasted away.
While we lived, they both passed, first my dad, then my mom;
Through the miles and the grief, God sustained with His calm.
Days of questioning came, when the work seemed to fail
And my strength was all gone and my ability frail.
We lived through the earthquake that took many lives,
Through typhoons and demons and perilous drives.
Through daughters in college, through surgeries and wrecks,
Through separation from family and problems complex.
I’ve been angry, confused, hurt, and terribly sad,
Ugly and bitter and jealous and mad.
Sometimes God seems hidden completely from view,
Yet I’ve learned that my feelings most often aren’t true.
Emotional religion is not Christ’s own goal;
My feelings don’t change Him, but just my own soul.
His love doesn’t depend how I feel day by day
Despite my self-centeredness feeling that way.
His reality’s different from what I can see—
Invisible, stable, and outside of me.
If I focus on right now, the outlook seems grim,
So I choose, day by day, to instead look at Him.
As I gaze on His Presence, His glory quite clear,
His Kingdom within me, His face ever near.
So this Christmas turn with me to seek for His face.
Stop looking outward to the ribbons and lace.
Transformed through the gazing of faith-opened eyes
Into a dimension where His peace supplies
Our needs and our comfort, await at His feet.
Entrusting Him—that is our work—it’s complete.
Turn your eyes toward Jesus, hear Him call you tonight,
“Merry Christmas to all. Let Me be your delight.”
Question to consider: How will you let Him be your delight this Christmas?