December is a holy month. Maybe it is the dark silky silence that descends so early, that speaks to me of reverence. Maybe it is the promise that December holds–that no matter how dark, how cold, how empty it can get, the light is coming back. Something always shifts in me when December arrives–I embrace the darkness and am eager for the coming solstice when the whole world is still and holds its breath, waiting to be reborn again. December whispers to me of midnight mass, of ancient choirs, of stained glass windows turned into gems by candle light.
Ever since I was a little girl, I had a deep strong sense that holy meant whole. Not whole like perfect, but whole like, magically complete–like a disaster averted, like a shattered jar repaired. Whole- like those stained glass windows. Broken, jagged, sharp pieces of glass held together magically, transformed into one perfect design not by gold or silver but by something as mundane as lead.
Well, I can’t speak for you, but damn….When I am falling apart, I feel like a pile of colored glass: fragile, broken, uncoordinated When I am at my most whole–when I am feeling my most holy I feel a lot like a stained glass window. I am still a pile of broken, jagged bits of sparkly glass but somehow all those pieces have been suspended by love and suddenly they are arranged and held together, woven into something greater. If you look up close you can see all the sharp edges, the odd shapes, the rippled colors that aren’t quite clear–but the love, the love has given it shape, created meaning from the madness.
My compass, my true north, the thing that makes me whole it is love. Love of my son, love of my community, love of humanity. Not fancy sparkly love but make soup, make lunches, make up, make beds mundane kind of everyday love.
Some people think that love flows from perfection. I think it flows from brokenness. Love is a survival skill that allows us to heal our wounds. Love is the transformative power that turns our brokenness into something beautiful. Our ability to love is what makes us holy. Our ability to love is what allows us to heal. Our ability to love is ultimately what makes us whole.