Image by Kurt Magoon via FlickrThis morning, I, a non-believer for some time now, had an unusual reaction to a very religious Christmas song.
I was driving alone in a light snowfall, on my way to a neighboring town. The Pine trees were so pretty and sparkly with the fresh snow on their boughs.
I was listening to a radio station with non-stop Christmas music, which alternated between religious carols and non-religious Christmas songs.
Listening to Gene Autry's "Rudolf the Red nosed Reindeer" and Burl Ives' "Have a Holly Jolly Christmas" got me thinking about Christmas's past when my kids were small and believed in Santa...it was a happy/ sad reflection.
Then "Mary did you know" sung by Kenny Rogers came on. It's a lovely song, the music is haunting and moving. ( but improbable lyrics ). As I was listening to it, towards the end of the song, I suddenly felt an actual shudder go throughout my body, and the hairs on my neck and on my arms stood up. I wasn't cold. I felt an actual rush of emotion, a sort of "thrill" that truthfully I can't describe.
As I drove along, I began to feel guilty for having such strong feelings during a religious song!
The more I thought about it, the more I came to realize that I was mourning the loss of the emotions that I'd felt long long ago, when I felt that Jesus knew me personally and truly cared about me.
The Jesus story is so seductive, especially at Christmastime, because each and every one of us wants to be loved, to be appreciated, and to have a "Father/Brother/Friend" to lean on and to count on in our times of trouble. It's hard to let that go.
My mourning was thankfully short-lived, then the very rational side of my brain overtook the wishful-thinking side of my brain. Reason wins out.
It would be so wonderful if the lyrics in that song were true, where Mary's baby would heal the lame, give hearing to the deaf and sight to the blind. But I have not seen any of these things happen through the goodness of "Jesus", only through the determination, knowledge and kindness of Man.
Wouldn't it be nice if Kenny Rogers could come up with a beautiful Christmas song about real people who give of themselves unselfishly, in so many different ways, not because of a heavenly reward, but because of the reward one feels in their hearts.
"Merry Christmas" WebmDave, his crew, all of the members here and the frequent posters, all of the ExChristian.Net fans, and even the drop-in fundys too (may you soon be enlightened!)