This has been a tough and simultaneously joyful year for me. I think it was summed-up by a weird weekend in Atlanta, mid-October. I was in a gorgeous room of the Four Seasons with my beautiful, pregnant wife, getting ready to celebrate a great friend’s wedding, while I simultaneously talked on the phone with my Mom, in tears, as my grandpa lay on what would become his deathbed. The next evening I was out at The Optimist in Atlanta for an early birthday dinner, received notice from the Army that I was awarded a $1.2 million dollar grant, while in the same moment a text from my sister arrived… my Grandpa was much worse, plane tickets would need to be changed. I needed to get to Oklahoma.
It was, for me, a year of ups and downs and tears of (literally) joy and pain in the same instant. It was a year close friends had beautiful new babies, and when one lost her 4 month old, in a horror I can’t bring myself to even think about. It was a year of many failed grants, horrible work stresses, that ended with nearly $3 million dollars of funding being awarded in the space of about 3 weeks. It was a year when it felt like everything was going wrong and right, simultaneously.
It’s only Thanksgiving, but I’m ready for those silent cold days following Christmas when winter truly begins and you start that yearly cleansing, ready for a new year. The leaves may already be off the trees here, but I need a new year. I need the grace of Christ at Easter, not just his coming for Christmas. So, this year’s last musical playlist is a bit of both….
It’s a playlist for the feel of wool and snow and the sight of slanting shadows. For skies with diamonds on fire, and people closing eyes to tears for those they’ve lost. A bit of music full of manic screams of “hallelujah” and quiet pleadings for grace, peace, hope. A bit of sound to keep you company on long flights, long drives, long evenings in the dark, snowed in. A soundtrack to this season, to the coming Christ, the promise of redemption, that claim of inheritance that has been so long gone, and feels now so present…
May you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and a very Merry Christmas… wherever you may be.