Between Here and There -- November 2022

My daughters have been working on their Christmas lists. In the past few years these lists have become increasingly organized, decorated, and displayed so that there is no disguising the facts: This is about Christmas and these are the things I want. Every once in a while, the lists catch me off guard with something unexpected, and at other times I’m enlisted to support the process (“Dad, how do you spell ‘Nintendo?’”). Some things they’re likely to receive. Others, they know, are a bit more outlandish – but they ask, nonetheless. These girls know how to ask for what they want.

I wonder when we lose that skill, the ability to ask for the things we really want. Some combination of shame, humility, cultural pressure, or what we might call a “firm grasp on reality” must get in the way, and we end up neglecting or ignoring the desires of our hearts. What might your list look like if you were to slide it across the table to Jesus?

What would be included, how would it be decorated, where would you want it to be displayed? Are there things that would catch others off guard? Would you need to enlist Jesus’ support (“Jesus, how do you spell ‘time with family?”)?

Matthew 7:11 reminds us: “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Even if it’s a bit outlandish, I wonder what it might be like for you to tell Jesus what you really want. What you really need. Even if we may never get it, I wonder if we ought to ask, nonetheless.

What are the things that you really want this Christmas season? I’d love to hear what’s on your list. I’ll even help you spell it out.

Be well, friends.

– Ed Sutter