My gift to you

Jesus wasn’t born in December, but likely in March. (Or, as my daughter Katie keeps telling me, Jesus was an Aries.) The wise men weren’t at the manger, but arrived years later. The manger may have been a cave, not a quaint little straw sanctuary in a drafty barn. We Christians have turned what was once a pagan holiday into a religious one. Christians try hard to keep the focus on God, yet we get caught up in gross commercialism and insane busyness. We still spend too much. We still forget to acknowledge Him.

Yeah, it’s all true. And yet? I don’t care.

Jesus is still Jesus. It’s still Christmas. And I will still celebrate because we need His light shining into the darkness. We need what His presence brings. We need all that He can reveal.

So I wish you a merry Christmas. I wish for you the chance to see and hear and feel God every day. I hope that you will celebrate Him with me—if you’re a believer—and if you’re not, I still wish for you all the light and love and hope that Jesus represents to me on this day. I rejoice because even though we could debate semantics, questioning each detail, agreeing or disbelieving how literally we interpret the Bible or whether God is real, in the end, that’s not what matters. What matters, at least to me, is that because of what I’ve seen and felt and heard, I believe. I want that for you, too, not because I’m determined to force my agenda on you but because it’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever known, and, if I love you, how could I not wish for you to find something like that for yourself?

I’m the woman who can turn a shopping list into two pages or a brief email into 1200 words—yet I can’t find words to express how unbelievably fortunate I feel. How blessed I am. How grateful I am for the life I have. For the fact that, for whatever reasons, through whatever series of circumstances, I have my faith to cling to. And for the fact that, in spite of all my thousands of questions and what many would call doubts, I do believe. I believe in that baby who came to save us. I believe that God offered us something amazing that day, and He’s never taken it back. He’s still there. Still waiting. Still offering. Still hoping.

So this Christmas, as I revel in the awesome knowledge that He is who He is, that He is all that He claimed to be and more, I truly don’t want anything else. Gifts are kindness and love in physical form, and I gratefully accept them. But I want to offer something to each and every one of you.

May I pray for you? For the one thing you truly want, the kind of thing that can’t be bought in a store, that doesn’t seem to really fit on a wish list? Can I take your name, your need, before the throne of the Holy One? Would you let me lift your deepest desire before the One who has the power to bring change, the One who cares, the One who loves you with a love so encompassing that we cannot begin to imagine it? Would you allow me to pray for marriages that are strained or broken, for the insidious tentacles of addiction that have grabbed hold of someone you love, for the medical conditions that threaten to change your lives forever? For children who have lost their way, for parents who feel helpless to help, for financial bondage and broken hearts and physical pain? For equality among people, for respect and empathy to reign and for divisions among people to be removed? For safety for all of God’s children. And yes, for world peace. For hope for our world, for leaders to rule wisely and for love and peace to prevail?

Send me your need, large or small, and I promise you that I will pray for you. I will not share your name or your need with anyone else. This is a safe place, and this is a gift to you, given without strings. You can send me details or just a vague request. I don’t want to intrude on anyone’s privacy. But I would be honored if you’d let me do this for you. If you’d let me come before the Almighty God and experience His love and compassion for you. You may comment here or email me (kellyostanley@me.com). Thank you, thank you.

I wish you a lovely, lovely Christmas filled with all things holy and right. And I pray for your days to be filled with God’s holy, revealing, renewing, restoring light.

Love,
Signature Kelly only

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