This was written amid fields of snow within a few days of Christmas. And when I last saw snow it was within a few miles of Bethlehem. The coincidence will serve as a symbol of something I have noticed all my life, although it is not very easy to sum up. It is generally the romantic thing that turns out to be the real thing under the extreme test of realism. It is the skeptical and even rational legend that turns out to be entirely legendary.
Everything I had been taught or told let me to regard snow in Bethlehem as a paradox, like snow in Egypt. Every rumour of realism, every indirect form of rationalism, every scientific opinion taken on authority and at third hand, had led me to regard the country where Christ was born solely as a semi-tropical place with nothing but palm tree and parasols.
It was only when I actually looked at it that it looked exactly like a Christmas card.
Chesterton is right: "It is generally the romantic thing that turns out to be the real thing under the extreme test of realism. It is the skeptical and even rational legend that turns out to be entirely legendary." It is only when we allow our intellects to be divorced from our hearts that we truly lose touch with reality; only when we forget that the best stories are really true that our lives become a fiction...
A very happy Christmas, everyone, and may the love of Christ fill your hearts to overflowing today and always!