Last week when I spoke with my son who is deployed, he said that “it doesn’t feel like Christmas,”…so of course I had to write a poem about it. I share it here with his permission.
It doesn’t feel like Christmas without my family,
My wife, my dogs, my mom and dad, my siblings and a tree.
Stuck here in the desert, with fellow soldiers we
Must keep our goal in mind, helping others to be free.
It doesn’t feel like Christmas, to be so far away
No elves or Santa pictures, no manger scenes displayed.
Eating at the mess hall, and working out each day,
Makes me miss my home life much more than I can say.
But then I got to thinking what Christmas really means
It’s not about the gifts, or the store-bought manger scenes
It’s God’s great gift of Jesus, without His kingly sheen,
Born as a human baby, with Holy Spirit genes.
And I can give my worship, and my thanks for His salvation
Whether snuggling up in Texas, or fighting for our nation
Being sad or lonely doesn’t stifle adoration
God is right here with me, as I meet my obligation.
So I’ll say a quiet thank you and I’ll think about our Lord
He didn’t have to volunteer to die for our accord;
He feely gave His Son for a clamoring, selfish hoard.
He knew that what we needed would be purchased by a sword.
There will be other Christmases when hearth and home are near,
There will be ham and Christmas fudge, and cookies and some beer.
We’ll play some games, and sing some songs, and have our Christmas cheer.
But I’ll recall this Christmas which was spent away right here.
I’ll thank God for using lonely times to help me see more clear.
Of the great Gift He has given, and the others I hold dear.
I’ll go to sleep with knowledge that I am a mortal mere,
But He wants me to protect the rest, and help remove the fear.
Perhaps it does feel like Christmas, in a tent out in the desert,
The humble home, the dusty winds, the lack of earthly comfort.
For in a lonely, quiet place our Savior brought us life
Maybe this is more the feeling of what Christmas should be like.
Merry Christmas to my precious son, 2011, Love, Mom