December 19, 2018 — prayer from “There’s no place like home for the holidays”


If you wanna to be happy in a million ways, for the holidays you can’t beat home sweet home! “There’s no place like home for the holidays” Al Stillman

God, everyplace is home
when it’s holy days –
for roamer and stay-at-home alike —

the hospital gripping the heart-pillow
and watching the IV drip,
after bypass surgery,
the hospice house
with gentle visiting friends,
and jewish volunteers who come just to smile,
the diner or sports bar with a lonely beer,
and a story shared for one night,
the prison TV room,
couch-surfing after eviction,
or airport gate awaiting some delay.

These are more manger
than any fireplace and decorated tree,
a flame red potukawa in the yard,
LED sleigh on the roof,
inflatable Snoopy,
or even grandma’s kitchen
full of so many scents –

God, you want me to be happy
in a million ways –
so you send these unlikely angels —

the salvation army ringer with the goat,
a sad person in the center seat,
fast-food clerk, door-dash deliverer,
(both with serious blisters)
a nurse on duty because
there aren’t any kids at home,
a corrections officer who has kids
but is needed anyway,
someone in the grocery line,

and suddenly there’s so much starlight
I could cry. amen.

(Here is the story. About ten years into my ministry – that is, a long time ago — I went Christmas Eve afternoon to the local hospital to visit and, all the patients were being moved into a sunroom – some walking with IV poles, others in wheelchairs and some in beds. The entertainment was a musical group who sang their “regular” program. It began with “There’s no place like home for the holidays,” and ended with “I’ll be home for Christmas.” These people could literally be defined by not-going-home, since all hospitals release as many as they can. Tears rolled down faces. It has become my reminder to be as “pc’ as I can be in any situation, even as that shifts and changes, — because my lack of thought should never excuse making an old man in a johnny cry.)

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2 Responses to December 19, 2018 — prayer from “There’s no place like home for the holidays”

  1. Eleanor Kraner says:

    Thank u Maren. We have been in temporary housing for months because we r having a small house built. We were supposed to be in at end of summer and here we are still here. It was vigorously be promised we would be home for Christmas. Not so. I’ve been struggling. Praying. Today’s message helps. Merry Christmas. Be blessed. Ellie Kraner

    Sent from my iPhone


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