Eighteen days till Christmas, and the sum of my outdoors is dirt lined with nettle and pokeweed baking brittle under a fat Kenyan sun. I miss December’s trappings, the reds and golds and glittery whites. The nutmeg and cranberries and cocoa. Caroling. Mistletoe. Portly snowmen and the resinous scent of balsam.
None of this adds up to Actual Christmas, I know, but it turns out I’m a creature of nostalgia and twinkle lights.
The choir sang this morning, a humble tune I don’t remember much of, save for small bits: Jina la Mwokozi. Furaha ya mbinguni. Tumaini ya watu.
The Savior’s name. Joy of heaven. Hope of people.
When I blink slowly enough to get my eyes off of me, God hands me a glimpse of Him again: the High King come as a peasant child, all that glory stuffed in sinew and skin. I have to think Christ was nostalgic for home, but He lived and moved and died for the pleasure of the Father and a wild, irrational love for His people.
And I find myself praying He’ll quicken my spirit, awaken it to the ongoing miracle of God Come Near. And His stars dust glitter on my shoulders, and the wind sings of holy, silent nights, and it’s Actual Christmas, the one where Christ comes for my heart.