I felt guilty. Christmas danced into the air as a choir of saints lifted Christ and adored the baby Jesus. There were wreaths and ribbons and bells and song. The feeling of peace and overwhelming joy of a Savior born to us had me on the edge of eternity past and present. While sitting there feeling as if the veil between heaven and earth, between faith and sight, would sweep away at any moment, dear friends were sitting with their loved one also in the presence of eternity, also before the veil.
This year eight friends or family members have waited to touch that veil and see the face of Christ.
Death has been present this year in a weight of anguish. The flimsy silken veil that calls us to stare deeper toward the face of God has grown so thin at times it felt as if we would all pass through. How I ached for that to be true.
God, just a whisper away, seemed to be inviting, at times anxiously, as if He couldn’t wait to embrace us. His heart seemed to cry, “I so want all of you to be here, to be whole, to be free, to dance with Me.” Instead, we waited at bedsides, hospital facilities, quiet rooms where we knew holiness had come so close as to touch it.
So I felt guilty imbibing the pleasure of a night of hope and Christmas cheer. Then the veil around the choir, so impenetrable at first, began to diminish. And in intimate imagination I stood there with friends and saw them and the veil and heard the praise and the hallelujah chorus and as one, we worshipped. Not just a baby but a man, very God of very God, triumphant in entry and in exit, exalted. The One who went in and came out, Whose death tore the thickened temple veil and its separation and allowed entrance through the silken transparency of eternity future.
The veil is thin this Christmas. His face is so near. The joining I can touch. This ache I can embrace. Together friends. We are not alone. The veil is thin.