How Even Pain And Division Can’t Steal Our Merry Christmas

Written In 2014
How Even Pain & Division Can’t Steal our Merry Christmas [with a Spoken Word Poem: “An Advent Lament & a Brave Merry Christmas”]

The old guy had said that there’s a Love that holds this whole shebang together —

even when, especially when, everything & everyone feels a bit banged & busted up.  

He’d turned & said just that to me, right there in the airport terminal.

Complete stranger. Never met the guy before. He wore his blue jacket like a badge of quiet respect, glasses, warm smile, ebony skin.

And we were both just sitting there on those blue vinyl seats, looking up at the news flashing loud across the screen they had hanging from the ceiling there at Gate G21, like the whole world was suspended right there in this waiting.

In this painful, expecting waiting and the piped in Christmas carols trying to drown out the news…………………………………

Someone told me that this Advent has felt more like a Lent — a grieving.

People streamed by hauling their luggage under Christmas lights. All of us feeling the staring of the overweight baggage of a year that just ached at the seams.

You don’t have to close your eyes to see how the news has been screaming for months. The Syrian Civil War robbed us all of another 30,000 lives this year, now more than a quarter million faces erased from our planet since the war erupted.

Boko Haram snatched our girls time and again throughout Nigeria, selling our sisters into slavery. ISIS wielded their bloody knife at our world and we recoiled and curled around our freedoms to believe. Pakistani mothers wept over their slaughtered children and we were repulsed at the horror.

Ferguson and New York City and now Brooklyn and so many of us grieve with this painful confusion and division.

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