The kids and I made snow globes on our last day of school. They look beautiful in front of the twinkle lights, sitting up on our mantle over the fireplace. Evergreen, holly berries, ribbon, glitter. Each one is a unique world of its own.

The tiny treasures remind me of a thought I had while waiting to visit my son at the juvenile jail. The lobby looks more like an upscale bus terminal. If you didn’t know where you were, it could pass for a school or an office building. Passengers file off buses parked in the front. I watch from inside where I am already waiting. People stream inside heavy, glass doors and form a line to get through security. The noisy crowd funnels through: identification, metal detector, sign in, numbered. Most seem to know the routine. They progress through with easy conversation like they’ve done this before.

This is my first time to the facility. Uneasy, I stand with my back against a pillar in the middle of a room that is getting more packed by the minute. Time crawls and a nervous pressure rises. I decide I have arrived too early. I didn’t know the wait would be like this. I try to envision the conversation I am about to have with my son. He doesn’t know I am coming. What is there to say? To distract my anxious thoughts, I turn my attention to the set of beautiful, floor-to-ceiling windows before me. I notice each pane is separated by a gorgeous, dark-colored wood. The top row is arched stylishly; the two sets coming together in symmetrical beauty. I admire their design and start counting window panes. 40. There are 40 panes. There were 40 years in the desert. 40 days of temptation in the wilderness. 40 days of Lent. Oh, Lord, what am I going to say to him? I don’t know if I am ready for this.

My thoughts jump to his second grade teacher; something she had said once. “I see these windows of opportunity in him”. Second grade had been a turning point, for the worse. Up to that point, I could easily blame the teachers for not being able to work with my high-energy son. But not Mrs. D. She was almost more distraught than I was that nothing she did seemed to help. He became her mission that year; a year that ended in crushing disappointment and failure for all three of us. I prayed as I waited. Lord, give me an opening today with him- a window to his soul.

God answered my prayer that day. I left with more hope for his future and my family than I had had in months. I am amazed by how perfectly God sees our intricacies. He knows each heart’s struggle beneath the surface, beyond the words, in the places where we don’t even understand ourselves. He opens windows in His divine purpose, the calling of each soul to come unto Him.

“Look! There He stands behind our wall, gazing through the windows…My lover spoke and said to me, “Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come with me. See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone…the season of singing has come” (Song of Songs 2:9-12).

My prayer for Christmas is for the one you need to connect with at a soul level. The broken one wrapped in layers of sin and self. Bound, captive, lonely, lost souls. Maybe you are the soul struggling to break free. I am praying for windows – opportunities for conversations of healing and hope. Cracks in the protective walls around the heart; light into the darkened mind. The snow globes glistening on my mantle, surrounding the Nativity, remind me that my prayers are heard by the Keeper of Souls. The Good Shepherd who tends His flocks. He carries the lambs in His arms and close to His heart. He leaves the ninety-nine to go after the one who has lost its way. He rejoices with the angels when each one comes home to Him.  The Lover sings songs of deliverance over us. May your Christmas be filled with a wonderland of windows and whispers of His wondrous Love.

 May the season of eternal singing come into the hearts of those we love this Christmas.

Joy to the World , the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.