“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5
You know how sometimes ideas seem perfect in your head, but then real life gets in the way?
We had a bunch of family in town, so we decided to go see Christmas lights. The kids outnumbered the adults, but did that factor in? Not in the least! Bellies full, we all piled into two SUVs and headed over to a local house to watch their amazing annual Christmas display.
Girls were in one car, boys in another, and we’d parked right in front, turned off our car lights as requested, tuned our radio to the proper station, and snuggled in, ready to watch the spectacle.
It was beautiful, just as we’d expected! The colors, the sounds, the cozy hum of the car motor, all lulling us into seasonal tranquility. After the frenzy of Black Friday, it felt so good to cuddle in the darkness and hear Christmas carols with family. I felt the tension begin to melt …
Then, from the backseat, a voice: “I wanna go home.”
And hardest to ignore: “I hafta go to the bafffroom.”
I gave my let’s-pretend-I-didn’t-hear sigh.
Today’s Bible verse pops into my head as I remember this scene. I’m not saying my sweet daughters and nieces are The Darkness or remotely sinister. But in that instant, it felt like the world (via griping preschoolers and kids needing potty breaks) was trying to overpower all that was holy and bright about that evening.
I wanted—needed—to ignore them. But, well—potty breaks and my car don’t exactly mesh.
I cuddled Bored One, pointed. “Do you like?”
She nodded grumpily.
I ruffled Full Bladder’s hair. “Think you can hold it till after this song?”
She shrugged OK.
We sat as the carols swept over us and the lights sparkled, lost in the magic. Then we drove home.
Darkness didn’t win. It never does.
Here’s to moments of holy joy squirreled away—even in the chaos.
Jessica Brodie is an award-winning journalist and a member of the Wholly Loved Ministryteam. She’s also an author who currently serves as the editor of the South Carolina United Methodist Advocate, the oldest newspaper in Methodism. She is the author of More Like Jesus: A Devotional Journey (2018) and editor of Stories of Racial Awakening: Narratives on Changed Hearts and Lives of South Carolina United Methodists (2018), both from her newspaper’s Advocate Press. She also writes contemporary women’s fiction, represented by Bob Hostetler of The Steve Laube Agency. Her novel The Memory Garden won the American Christian Fiction Writers’ 2018 Genesis Contest. She has a faith blog at JessicaBrodie.com.
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