Â Each year, we visit the same tree lot to pick up a little table-top Christmas tree which will sit in the window seat.Â It is a tradition we really enjoy, and we’re thankful to be able to support L’Arche in our small way.
L’Arche, is a wonderful organization that serves adults with disabilities in many communities.Â From the Portland chapter’s website:
At L’Arche Portland people with and without developmental disabilities work together to create home and build community. Those with developmental disabilities form the heart of our shared life and invite others into mutual relationships. We welcome each person’s unique gifts and challenges, and offer opportunities for personal transformation. We trust in God and live as a sign that love, respect and interdependence are the path to a peaceful and just world.
Look how big these girls are getting?Â Very grateful that we had a dry day to go pick out our little tree, and that cousin Ruby could join us again this year.
Over the next week or two, we will slowly decorate.Â First up is the star, followed sometime later by a string of lights, then a night popcorn and cranberries, and one more night for ornaments and mini candy canes.Â The children like the undecorated tree for acting out all sorts of woodland play with their toys, so no one is in a hurry to get the ornaments up.
As we finish making up our Advent wreath, getting decorations out of storage, reading Christmas books aloud in the evening, we are anxious for the season of Advent.Â As we enter this special time in which we anticipate the arrival of the Christ-child, a Light in the darkness.
Each year when we pick up our tree, I am reminded of L’Arche champion Henri Nouwen’s words on compassion, and how they ring so true at this time of year, when the God of the universe fully immersed Himself in the human condition in order to extend compassion to Humanity:
Compassion asks us to go where it hurts, to enter into the places of pain, to share in brokenness, fear, confusion, and anguish. Compassion challenges us to cry out with those in misery, to mourn with those who are lonely, to weep with those in tears. Compassion requires us to be weak with the weak, vulnerable with the vulnerable, and powerless with the powerless. Compassion means full immersion in the condition of being human.
â€• Henri J.M. Nouwen
Joining with Taryn for her Gratitude Sunday as we enter into Advent, and all the Hope therein.