Surrounded by Glory

0 comments Posted on December 16, 2016

Manger Sceneby Pat Verbal

. . . and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them.
Luke 2:9 NLT

Let’s be honest, it’s not always easy to get into the Christmas spirit. There is so much to get done, and time seems to fly by like a sprinter headed for the finish line. It usually helps me to reflect on memories from past Christmases . . .

stringing popcorn garland with the kids,
putting together bikes at midnight,
surprising a friend with the perfect gift,
holding hands during the Christmas Eve service,
reading Luke 2 by candlelight,
and sipping hot chocolate after caroling.

But this Christmas is very different with my sweet husband in the final stage of Alzheimer’s. This year . . .

caregivers come and go throughout the day,
holiday foods are pureed before feedings,
the washer and dryer hum with loads of laundry,
party and concert invitations must be declined,
med schedules are posted on the frig,
and tree lights sparkle in the chrome of his wheelchair.

Yet, when I stop to meditate on the nativity story, I’m overwhelmed by the “radiance of the Lord’s glory” that surrounds us as it did the shepherds so long ago. Caring for the man I’ve loved most of my life is a precious gift. I’m blessed with . . .

God’s love in my sweetheart’s bright smile,
God’s comfort in caring calls from friends praying for us,
God’s voice in beloved scriptures read together each night, and
God’s promise of an eternity with Jesus, Our Savior, and those we love.

So, rejoice with us this Christmas—being ever mindful of the “radiance of the Lord’s glory” that surrounds you today. He is truly Emmanuel, God with us!

pat-verbalPat Verbal is the Sr. Manager of Curriculum at the Joni and Friends Christian Institute on Disability. As project manager and contributor for the Beyond Suffering Bible (Tyndale 2016), Pat drew inspiration from a decade of caring for her husband Stan, a retired Boeing Aerospace engineer.  To help others grasp the goodness of God amidst critical questions about suffering, learn more at


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