Every year, I have trouble finding my Christmas spirit. I’ve written a lot about why that is, and this year is no different. But I feel like God is throwing me more clues than usual.
The first clue came from my wife. We were discussing my father’s ongoing health problems and I noted how that was contributing to what I see as the same old pattern of shitty things happening during the holidays.
Erin noted, rightly, that this season isn’t about having a constant warm glow in the belly and not having a care in the world. It’s about celebrating the second chance Christ’s birth gave humanity. A lot of people have a hard time with the concept and the faith, but it is what Erin and I believe. She’s just better at seeing it than I am this time of year.
The second clue came as I was reviewing some works from Eddie Mize, known in the infosec and art communities as EddieTheYeti. I recently vowed to do a series on his art and the feelings it stirs in me. My faith is a good place to start.
A disclaimer before I go further: My take on Eddie’s art won’t necessarily be the same as what he was thinking and feeling when making these works. We haven’t discussed religion, and I don’t know what his beliefs are. This exercise is about what his work brings out of me. The results may well be light years from what he intended.
Which brings me to two of his works.
The look on the angel’s face is sad, not at all characteristic of an angel. I’ve carried that frown a lot lately, even I feel like the warm glow of Christmas should be shooting out from my fingertips. I still believe that if I keep Christ close everything will work out.
The angel reminds me that in the face of sadness and despair, there is always hope. I’m a flawed person, but Christ never gives up on me.
For those who don’t believe, it’s a hard concept to wrap the head around: Christ allowing himself to be killed in one of the most brutal ways imaginable. Yet I believe that Christ suffered and died to give us all a second chance. It opened a path by which sinners could find redemption.
He saved us by sacrificing Himself. No matter how much I screw up, He has my back.
That will strike many of you as bat-shit crazy. I’m not going to debate the truth and science of it all. It’s what I believe, and I don’t have to defend it.
Eddie’s art has no warm, glowing Christmas tree lights. There’s no mistletoe, no Santa Clause and no chestnuts roasting on a fire. It’s bleak and dark. But it gives me more clarity about the purpose of the season than any Rockwell painting could.