Fixing her eyes this Christmas

There is something so precious about cradling a newborn. I have had the privilege of being passed both a newborn niece and nephew to cradle this year within hours of their births. As I held them each of them, I felt a deep desire to want to pray for them, to thank God for the blessing they are to their parents, to pray for God's protection over them and that they may forever know the agape love of Jesus. That they may make a positive difference in this world for His glory. I couldn't help but wonder as I held them, what they will be like, what will their voices sound like, what gifts will they have, what will they choose to do in their lifetime? Where will those little feet take them and wha

The Longing

We are all I am without a doubt, familiar with longing. It is a feeling that we become acquainted with from a fledgling age. The urgent longing we feel for a parent to buy us an ice-cream from the shop, the excitable longing the night before Christmas when there are presents waiting to be unwrapped at dawn, for the mystery to be uncovered. The longing we feel at that age is mixed with a child-like awe and perhaps brief moments of frustration, “why can’t I have it now?” I assuredly asked countless times throughout my own childhood. Longing develops as we grow and usually becomes more relational. We begin to long for - perhaps even ache for - relationships that fill our lives with joy. We

Star of Wonder

Once upon a time, around three and a half thousand years ago, the word of the LORD came to an old Babylonian man living as an alien in the land of Canaan. The aged sojourner’s name was Abraham and he was very wealthy in livestock, silver, and gold, but despite all his prosperity, Abraham and his wife Sarah experienced a painful emptiness in their lives, a poverty—they remained childless. During one particularly long, dark night, as Abraham struggled to believe that the LORD really would keep his promise to bless him and make him into a great nation, when it began to seem foolish to hope for an heir, the Almighty God, Creator of heavens and earth, took him outside his tent and told him to lif

Unboxed

You may have experienced, as I have, the ‘big box’ Christmas prank. A huge wrapped box is presented amid a chorus of “what can it be?”, then layers of wrapping shed revealing a slightly smaller box within and then another and so on, until only a small box remains containing a not-so-impressive pair of socks. What looks grand turns out to be rather ordinary; the seemingly magnificent is actually unimpressive. That’s not the story of Christmas though, is it? With the Christmas story, it’s flipped. What may have looked to the casual observer quite ordinary - an ordinary woman, an ordinary town - was in fact something quite grand. The seemingly unimpressive was actually magnificent. This God tha

Impossible Birth

“O come, O come, Emmanuel And ransom captive Israel That mourns in lonely exile here Until the Son of God appears Rejoice! Rejoice!” At this year’s UN Climate Action Summit, Greta Thunberg had a message for our world’s leaders. “How dare you!” she thundered with chilling prophetic force. “You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I'm one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!” I heard an echo of God’s words through Isaiah to our world. “Earth is polluted by its very

Wait: Hope is Growing

I’ve never been great at waiting. I’ll be honest, I’m terrible at it. Patience is a virtue, they say. But I look at my little seven-month old son hitting the floor impatiently and he doesn’t have it either. He’s just learned to crawl but he already wants to be walking. So I wonder if perhaps there’s something genetic my family simply didn’t get. Coming from the contemporary church, it has been something of a joy to be able to learn from more traditional or liturgical Christianity. Hands down, my favourite season is advent. Advent is about practicing waiting. But not the kind of waiting we tend to practice in ordinary life, say, waiting for the dentist in a vague terror. No, this is hopeful w

The Birth of Jesus

2 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register. 4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room avai

The Unexpected

As we come to Christmas it is the mark that another year is almost over. This rhythm of the year often brings us to reflection on the year that has passed. If we have experienced the unexpected this year, Christmas can make the rawness of that a more jarring experience. This year has been full of the unexpected for me and the end of the year has brought a sense of needing to rest and rebuild as I move into 2020. I wonder if you have also faced the unexpected this year. Perhaps the unexpected was joyful and exciting like gaining a new family member, achieving a milestone or goal that you didn’t think would happen. Or perhaps for you the unexpected has been hard and draining. Maybe you hav

Mary

PART ONE: MARY AND EVE A few years ago I – like many people – discovered this drawing of Mary and Eve by Sister Grace Remington of Mississippi Abbey. And like many people, I loved it. I was drawn to the faces of the women: Eve’s a picture of sorrow and shame, yet lit with perhaps a hint of hope. Mary’s, a face of compassion, warmth, and quiet, confident expectation. I loved the hands on the belly, on the face, and clutched at the breast. I loved the image of the snake: wound tight around Eve’s leg, but crushed at its head by Mary’s foot. I loved that it was a picture of redemption featuring women – and a pregnant one at that! Crayon and Pencil, by Sister Grace Remington, OCSO. c.2005, Sist

Joy to the World!

“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music… ” – Psalm 98:4 Today is the day after the third Sunday of advent – a day in the church calendar in which we celebrate the Joy of Christ entering the world. One of the most joyful psalms is 98. You may not know the NIV or The Message version off by heart, but I guarantee you know Isaac Watt’s version of Psalm 98. He wrote a book of poetry published 300 years ago in which he re-worked each Psalm of David from a New Testament perspective. The words were then taken up over 100 years later and arranged into a song (the arranger, Lowell Mason, took words of Isaac Watts and music by George Handel, released it at Christm

The power of the curious question

Where do all the questions go? As any parent of young children knows, little people ask lots of questions. In fact, it has been estimated that an average pre-schooler asks about 40,000 questions over those four crucial developmental years. But then what happens? What dries up those questions? Some experts believe children start to be anxious about being seen as stupid. “If I ask that question, it means I don’t know the answer. People might laugh at me.” There is also the suggestion that the education curriculum schools work to is so focussed on meeting set developmental markers, that it leaves little room for experimentation and creativity. A third impact is the family environment. There are

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All images, words and materials are copyright protected and are the property of the author and / or Fixing Her Eyes. Please contact us at fixinghereyes (@) gmail.com for permissions. January 2020