The Longest Night of the Year

Christmas is almost here.

For some, there's a crescendo of eager expectation. Mysteriously shaped boxes with concealed contents, will soon be exposed to glowing faces. Family will gather. Traditions will guide and galvanize people who share a common story. Hearts and bellies will be made full. And for some, all things will be right and in their rightful place.

For others, there will be a humdrum marking of time, a stationary movement through the final days of the year. They are not Scrooges, as one might suppose, just realists surrounded by heartache or pain or loss or fear or a combination of each. History is their ardent teacher and loneliness their only friend. Both teacher and friend keep stagnant, any lofty aspirations.

And yet there are some who will choose, by grace born in a manger, to go headlong into uncertainty and transgress the boundaries of nature. They're more courageous and less complacent. They're moving to places most will not go: those difficult places, for the downtrodden and low. For it's here that you will find him, the babe born in a stall.

They will go into the night, fearless and full of light. They offer what little they have to those who can never repay. They won't be pretentious and snobby, wagging fingers meant to demean. They won't add insult to injury, by rehashing what might have been.

They will simply come close and pitch their tent, the way that Jesus did. And the night that grew for so long now, will soon be rescinded by day. Dawn will make the longest night dissipate as hope springs forth again.


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Name: Jesse Smith
Address: 3340 Balsam Tree Drive, Charlotte, NC 28269