If there's one thing we malign at Christmas time, it's the busy-bodied lack of focus that comes with the thousands of commitments we seem to make as soon as the Thanksgiving Turkey is wrapped in foil and dropped, without ceremony, into the fridge. From that moment until the serenity of Christmas morning, it's all about to-do lists and shopping days and fundraisers and party planning and on and on and on. We know it, too: it's the number one complaint of every sane person on the planet this time of year. When did the holidays stop being about fun and family and start being about calendar control and product placement?
We're as guilty of it as anyone else. If we're honest, we do it year-round. When you're blessed to do as much in this community as we are, it's easy to get swept up in the relentless cycle of do-good-feel-good-commit-to-repeat. From the moment we receive our first school supply shipment through the dozens of home renovations we perform and down to the last Christmas gift we deliver, it seems like we spend all our time trying to do more great things without ever stopping to celebrate the amazing things of which we've already been a part.
It's our pleasure to be rooted in this community, helping to remedy the unfortunate disparity of a world that isn't quite in line with the way it was meant to be. On December 5th, we decided to share that pleasure; to pause in the midst of our busiest season and celebrate the amazing things that have happened here. Families have been strengthened. Hope restored. Food provided. Homes revitalized. Futures secured. Friendships forged.
What better way to rejoice in the victories of the past year than to have two of the most prominent names in musical celebration stop by to share their gift?
Somewhere between Micah Tyler's kind words about our work during the opening set and the return of the overhead lights in the First Baptist Euless auditorium following the headliners, each of us took and breath and whispered a confident “thank you.” For some, it was a declaration of praise to a God of miracles who continues to astound us with His presence here. For others, it was a grateful announcement that this year left us all a little better than it found us. A few may have even been releasing the weight of a life transformed: acknowledging a personal reversal of tragedy or pain in themselves or their neighbors. Those moments, however varied they may have been, were the embodiment of the true significance of the winter holidays.
The real wonder of this season runs all the way back to an old story about a God so loving that he would enter a broken world as a mere human to ransom us out of our depravity and back to him. A story of love and redemption that continues today, thanks to the passion of men and women who believe that story to be true and the first man who told it to be the embodiment of hope. They love because he first loved them, and they are the raw power that makes 6 Stones run. They are the reason that Saturday night was beautiful.
As much as Shane & Shane and Phil Wickham captured us with their harmonies, the real magic was found in a peaceful clearing beside our main office long after the concert hall had cleared. Warmed by the glow of a half dozen cheerful fire pits and several hundred feet of Christmas lights, the 6 Stones Community Garden took on a vibrant life usually reserved for Spring. Rather than vegetation rising from beneath the dirt, however, the bounty was in the droves of joyous people that trod across the grounds.
The garden was a living place in more ways than one.
We could never express our constant gratitude for the thousands of people who live and serve with us every year. It seems like more join the cause every day, and the only thing we know for sure is that the things happening here are not happening because there is something special about us. We're glad we could celebrate the wonder of this season — and everything that came before it — with the most incredible people we know. They're the real magic at 6 Stones.