‘Is your husband good to you at Christmas?’ the person cutting my hair asked a few weeks ago. Good to me? I honestly had no idea what she meant for a few moments. It seemed like an unusually personal question in the circumstances.
Then the penny dropped and I realised she was talking about Christmas presents. Of course. I think I managed to hide my surprise and answer the question in a socially acceptable way.
Meaning no disrespect to my hairdresser, who was, of course, only trying to make some friendly conversation, I wonder how often we think about God’s goodness in similarly limited ways.
Is God good to you at Christmas? That sounds strangely narrow. Surely we’d just want to know if God is good.
Visiting Beverley Minster with my family last week, I fell in love again with this installation consisting of a stained glass window and a sculpture of pilgrims heading towards it. I hope you will be able to see in these photos (taken by our friend, Andy Lindley) that the pilgrims have stained glass at their centre, their hearts a beautiful reflection that that which they seek.
A pilgrim is a person who journeys to a sacred place. I hope this Christmas that I will travel to a place where I begin to understand God’s year-round goodness, not limited to tangible things. I hope I will be able to know something of the connection that this sculpture represents for me – deep crying out to deep, knowing my heart’s true destination, irresistibly drawn to love.