Today is Christmas (although I suspect wordpress will forward the date because of a time-zone confusion…an hour and 10 minutes remain as I begin writing). It has been the most pleasant sort of Christmas I could have hoped to have had–it snowed most of the day and we, as a family, were not inclined so much as to shovel the driveway. First off because it hadn’t really concluded snowing, and secondly because there was nowhere to go and nothing to do outside of our house. It was glorious to stay in my pajamas and enjoy the happy company of my family.
In the habit I have picked up since going to England of talking and reminiscing about England (perhaps too much), I decided to bring an English flavor to our Christmas meal. Instead of the usual baked or mashed potatoes, I took some adorable gold potatoes (roughly the size of red, but far superior in flavor and texture) and par-boiled them with carrots, coated them with seasoning and oil, and put them in the oven to roast alongside the meat already in the oven. It was a culinary success, even for my limited cooking experience, and I look forward to eating roasted vegetables even without meat later on this spring. They take a bit of time and make a bit of a mess, but they are so delectable. I love vegetables raw, cooked without seasoning, and in other dishes, but these stand out marvelously.
As I write this I am struck with the luxury my family enjoys…not only do we have a meaningful Christmas dinner with special fixings like roasted vegetables and cuts of meat, we have food to spare, heat, literacy, water, beds, etc. I heard the other day that the difference between poverty and not is the ability to read. Actually, I might have read that in a Bible Study I am doing written by Beth Moore. I cannot fathom life without reading for pleasure, let alone for necessity, and I certainly take education and its status in America for granted. I am confident that kids slip through the cracks and don’t learn to read, but I have never met someone that cannot read. Kids and adults with reading disabilities, sure. But at all? Not once in my life.
At the mass we went to for Christmas Eve last night, we were challenged to regard everyone as made in the image of God and let that special value determine how we treat people, ignoring the “value” assigned to them by the world. That’s well and good; I agree. Our equality in the likeness of God is to be celebrated (and is stinkin’ cool–He sent His son Jesus to be human…which means Jesus, fully God, shared the “in-the-image” likeness literally with us as fully human). This time of year is marked with generosity and charity by people who don’t even know what the holiday is for, but something I asked my middle school students earlier is sticking out in light of the reflections of the past day: why such an influx this time of year only to dry up until the “holidays” strike again in November?
It’s fruitless to wax on and on about it on a blog. I think proper action needs to take place, and yet I’ll probably still spend half the night being cozy and reading a pleasurable book. So apologies for no conclusion or resolution to the dilemma of poverty, but a call for prayer and generous hearts to be opened yearlong.