I woke up today fulling intending to do a light-hearted, nothing-too-serious post. But then I got some news that while it does not affect me directly, it leaves me reeling and grieving for some very dear friends.
And so I just wanted to write a quick post, reminding those of us who are getting caught up in the hustle and bustle to just STOP. Stop for a minute. Take time to think about those who are going through difficult times, and like a scab picked off too soon, the holiday season can often bring about a new sense of grieving.
And to those who feel as if time has stood still this holiday season, my prayers are with you.
– It may be a person who has lost a loved one this past year, and this is the first Christmas that they are spending without them
– It may be the young missionary kid in his/her first year of college in his “home country” who does not get to see his/her family at Christmas— for the first time.
– It might be the young newlywed who is just so overwhelmed with all the changes to her lifestyle, and is spending the holidays with her “new” family, which is not exactly where she wants to be…but she is too afraid to say anything about her feelings because she is supposed to be young, in love and still in that “honeymoon” phase.
– It may be the elderly couple you see whose children live too far away to visit for Christmas
– It may be the young couple who lost a baby earlier in the year. This couple dreamed of watching their little one gaze at the tree lights for the first time and giggle and coo with all the attention that they would get from family, and yet all that disappeared within just several hours.
– Hey, it might even be a family who lost a pet, and this is the first Christmas without that dear family friend and companion
– It might be a young missionary couple who have abandoned so much for the sake of call, yet are facing their first Christmas all alone in a foreign country where Christmas celebrations hardly even exist.
– It might be the family who lost their jobs earlier this year, and Christmas is much, much different than they ever expected or imagined
– It might be a single Dad and his kids, who lost Mom several years ago, but Christmas can just never be the same.
The list really could go on and on.
For most of us, Christmas is the most wonderful time of year, but for many, it is actually the worst time of the year. The day/week that many people dread, and breathe a sigh of relief when it has passed.
So lets enter this time of the year with great joy and anticipation, remembering what we are actually celebrating. Let’s be sensitive to those around us who may be facing a Christmas different from the ones that they are used to. Let’s pray that the true meaning of Christmas will shine through our actions and our celebrations. Let’s pray that those who are dreading the holidays this year will feel the HOPE, JOY and PEACE that Christ brought through his humble birth.