On Christmas Eve, my wife and I were reflecting on the year that was nearly ending whilst dining at a restaurant.
I started to complain about something that didn’t happen the way I wanted it to.
My wife focused her attention in a Christmas tree that embellished the place.
I thought that she wasn’t interested in the conversation, so I changed the subject:
“This tree has a beautiful illumination”, I said.
“Yes, but if you look carefully you can see one burnt light among dozens.
” It seems to me that instead of thinking this year as dozens of enlightened blessings, you chose to look at the one light that did not glow.”
2011 was the year of protest.
All the little lights twinkling are the Occupy camps across the world.
All the little lights twinkling are the brave people who take to the streets in Syria and Egypt, even though they do so at risk to their lives.
The one dead light is the corrupt who must be removed from power.
In Arabic: Yom asal, yom basal which means one day honey, one day onions. Canon Andrew White would designate days as honey or onion, as often a good day would be followed by a bad day, then one day decided to change his perspective, every day would be a good day. Not just a philosophical shift, but a spiritual shift.
Surrounded by death and destruction, Canon Andrew White and the people he loves and serves still see the joy of life.
For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
It is often those who face the greatest adversity who share the greatest love. Canon Andrew White in Iraq is a good example of this.
St Paul pleaded with God to remove the thorn from his side, God responded …
1 Corinthians 12:19
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
Love drives out fear.
1 John 4:18
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
2 Timothy 1:17
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Canon Andrew White
As I have said many times, the congregation of St George’s are the most joyful people I have ever served. … There cannot be any such word as can’t here in Iraq. We have to persevere, and we do. And in everything we see the Glory of God.