Updated: Dec 27, 2021
It's Time to Celebrate Our Hope There is truly a light that shines at Christmas. You can see it in the eyes of children, who still believe. You can feel it in your own heart and soul, if you still believe … when you do believe. You can share it in the one story that will last into eternity, the one story that opened for us the door to eternity with a baby and his Heavenly Father. Today, as in other bleak times in the history of this earth, we desperately need that light. Fear not. It still shines. But the news of the day is so depressing. I was stunned the other day to read about the new lockdown in the Netherlands. I don't know how bad things are where you live, but the rampant emergence of Omicron and the continued ravages of Delta appear to be fast returning us to those early, fear-filled days in the Spring of 2020. And that fact is so discouraging. On March 6 of 2020, I was in Mt. Sinai Hospital in Manhattan having my aortic valve replaced with a synthetic valve. My surgeon’s office was packed with people wrapped tightly in their coats, hats on, masks tied firmly over their faces, trying to avoid close proximity with the other frightened people in the office. Throughout the hospital, doctors were frantically trying to treat as many as possible – those who desperately needed fixing – before the inevitable happened. Only days later, the world stopped. And the world remained shut down for oh, so long. Or so it seemed. I remember seeing photos of empty streets in Paris. Of chaos outside the hospitals of New York City. Of 8:00 PM above the deserted streets of Madrid where thousands stood on balconies or opened the windows of their apartment blocks to serenade thanks to those first responders and heroic medical staff who were valiantly fighting for lives against this plague. And today, Christmas Day, it appears we once again may be engulfed in the remorseless fist of COVID and all its rapidly mutating forms. Wherever you are, I can tell you that we in the USA are just as tired of the plague and discouraged by the rise of Delta and Omicron as the rest of the world. Makes you wonder if this, one wave of variant after another, is the way our lives will play out in the future. Truly, I don't want to think like that. So, I grasp for the light. I hope for hope. Two days ago, we (my wife Andrea, her sister Linda and I) were blessed to have two of our grandchildren in our home - a 9-year-old and a 4-year-old who live only seven minutes from us. We were starting what we hope is a new tradition ... Nana and Pop Pop's Christmas Brunch. What a joy! Blueberry pancakes and turkey bacon, then a treasure hunt for clues hidden all through our home, then surprise Christmas gifts under the tree, then a craft - making Christmas cards for their Mom and Dad, then a treat the kids never had before - hot waffles with ice cream and strawberries and a drizzle of chocolate sauce. You should have seen their eyes light up! “This is the best day, ever!” (But we were exhausted!) What a great time we had that day. Christmas through the eyes of children is precious. And that precious joy reflects the light that is the hope of the world. The hope Andrea and I hang onto; the hope that is being planted in the hearts and minds of grandchildren, the hope that there is time for the birth of new ‘traditions’. The hope that is being offered to all of us this Christmas. Thank you, Jesus. ~ ~ ~ A personal note: After having all three books of the Empires Of Armageddon series released within a span of just 10 months in 2020, I was spent. At one point, we were editing all three of the books at the same time. And, even when the release dates had passed, there was still the pressure and anxiety of trying to market the books during a time when much of the world was still shut down. So, I’ve taken some time off from writing … “some time” which has now stretched to almost a year. For most of that year, I had real doubts about whether I would … or wanted to … go back to writing novels. Writing is a huge commitment of time. Empires took more than five years to write, from concept to finished trilogy. On January 6th of 2022, I will celebrate my 75th birthday. (And, yes, Andrea and I will celebrate.) Do I really want to take another year of whatever time I have left on this earth to write another novel? Or do I want to take that year to invest my life in my wife and our marriage … in my children and our children’s children? To garden, grow flowers, read and play? Well, it took a year of those most personal investments to come up with an answer. God created me with the gift of telling and writing stories. It’s my responsibility to use that gift and share it with the world around me. So, it’s time to get back to work … without neglecting my wife, our family, our home (or my flowers!) or any of the precious things I long to enjoy while I’m here. There is another Brian Mullaney thriller partially completed. There is a book I wrote 15 years ago that has yet to be published (but it sure needs work!) I’m going to get to work on those two projects and get them completed. Hopefully in 2022. And then we’ll see where we go from there. But, for today, for this glorious, joyful day of peace – Christmas Day, 2021 – Andrea and I wish you and your family a blessed, peaceful and joyous Christmas and a safe and healthy New Year. A better year than the last one – for all of us. With Warmest Regards …Merry Christmas.