I like to pick up a new picture book at Christmas time, and this year I happened to see Room for a Little One (Book #55, by Martin Waddell) at a denominational office. It's charming and vivid and simple and short, a story about the cow inviting animals into the barn, and ultimately Mary and Joseph. I used it with the children last Sunday, after which we sang "Jesus, Our Brother, Strong and Good," an absolute favorite of mine. My friend, RevFun, wrote a verse about Molly two Christmases ago. She came to church last Sunday, and we added her verse to the carol.
"I," said the dog, brown, black and white,
I guarded his family all through the night.
I kept them safe till the morning light.
I," said the dog, brown, black and white.
Molly seemed to enjoy it. I know I did.
Throughout Advent, I've appreciated Run, Shepherds, Run: Poems for Advent and Christmas (Book #56, edited by L. WIlliam Countryman). Just tonight I read a poem that touched a tender place for me.
In Memoriam XVIII ~ Alfred Tennyson
I'm grateful to writers this year, writers who have amused me, made the time go by when I couldn't do much with my free time due to ill health, writers who shared their experiences, in fact and in fiction. Tennyson's pain may not be like mine, unless it is since I have been grieving for the life I believed I would have before the RA diagnosis. Now, many months later, I still don't really know what the new life will be like, but I am hearing the bells, too, and finding different joys in them.