All is well

Maria Niechwiadowicz


All is well, all is well, angels and men rejoice.

For the final and fourth week of Advent, it sure has been hard to rejoice this week. After pushing hard in preparation for the Play Competition, I found myself sick and exhausted. I basically quarantined myself into my apartment to force rest upon myself, which worked for my physical nature, but not so much for my emotional nature. Do you know what happens when you spend too much time alone during the Christmas season? You start to think about all the memories of the past…and then think about family celebrating at home without you…and this is just the first Christmas, there is still another one to survive! Nostalgia can be rough man!

For tonight darkness fell…

Now, I don’t mean to share this to evoke pity upon myself, but rather to share that these tears of anguish became a moment of insight. I have never spent a holiday away from home completely alone. There have been traditions that have changed over the years or times I have been away, but I have always been able to celebrate with other people. While I am celebrating with the foreign teachers later this weekend, on this holy Christmas eve night, I find myself utterly alone, and I realize that for many people, this is normal.

…into the dawn of love’s light.

How privileged I have been to be able to share the holidays with family and friends each and every year. Being with family is what makes Christmas well, Christmas! Love is abounding in the birth of the Christ child! And no one can really explain why a night spent around the Christmas tree or waking up on Christmas morning feels so great except that showing love to others brings joy!

Christ has come. Go and tell!

The amazing thing about the Nativity story is that you can’t just tell the story, but in its telling, love is proclaimed. After all, without Christ, isn’t love incomplete? What a blessing it has been to tell this miraculous story in my classes over and over! While at times I feel incredibly distant and alone in Guyuan, Christ is here. Love is present.

Lift up your voice and sing! Sing Alleluia! 

So as I sit here alone in my apartment, my advent candles burning, the lights on my tree glowing, I lift my voice in song and Christmas eve prayer…all is well.

May God be gracious to us and bless us
    and make his face to shine upon us,
that your way may be known upon earth,
    your saving power among all nations.
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
    let all the peoples praise you.

Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,
    for you judge the peoples with equity
    and guide the nations upon earth.
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
    let all the peoples praise you.

The earth has yielded its increase;
    God, our God, has blessed us.
May God continue to bless us;
    let all the ends of the earth revere him. -Psalm 67