It’s Christmastime with all the lights, gifts, celebrations, cards, and busy schedules. All around us we are besieged by products adds, Christmas carols, and the reminder that “If we order today our gifts can STILL arrive by Christmas day!” Hurry ~~ Hurry!
Let me be honest, I love the Christmas season as much as anybody, yet, as I pay attention to the people around me I am tenderized by the fact that there are many facing challenges and changes IN THE MIDST of this season. Not everyone is experiencing a Facebook Christmas full of photos of fun, food, and laughter.
I am aware of folks facing incredible physical challenges, financial pressure, relational pain, loss, and loneliness. For them, the holidays present unique challenges. I see the commercials with the children missing their daddies serving in the military; it takes less than one second for my eyes to well up with tears. I watched a man suffering with Parkinson’s disease carefully taking steps down the aisle at the store slowly gathering up family gifts as his energy (not love) drained with every step; tears again. I read a blog of a colleague whose son has just married and faced a painful surgery to remove an enormous tumor in his brain; my heart breaks for what this young couple is walking through.
No, I don’t want to write a blog that brings you down! I don’t. Yet if we miss what is really true during this holiday season we will be unable to be ready to respond to the needs around us. I have simply chosen, in this season, to be very mindful of those who serve in customer care during the holidays; I’ve committed not to be too busy that I don’t forget to thank them by name, smile at them, and compliment them. It has been remarkable how those soft touches have changed their countenance. This is a little thing!
We all face challenging situations; some seasons are harder than others yet these challenges can just seem more pronounced during a season. If you are in a season where you are experiencing health, peace, and joy then CELEBRATE IT! If you are facing a season that feels heavy and challenging, I encourage you to trust in the One who loves you more than you will ever know! Deuteronomy 31:8 says ” It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you, He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” I just LOVE that! That is what Christmas is truly all about!
Even as I write I am keenly aware that many of you are in a tough season, some of you have just passed though challenges, and there will be others whose lives feel incredibly easy at this time. I wish all of you true joy in whatever situation you find yourself this year.
Perhaps this season, and all year through, we could find the good tension between celebrating our own lives and remaining mindful of those whose lives are facing great challenge. Let’s be human.
Merry meaningful Christmas to you, my friends.
3 thoughts on “Being honest about Christmas~”
Dianna, we have been touched this month in several ways by God and people who were His hands and feet… here are a few of them….
1. a broken heater – fixed by insurance
2. two frozen pipes, that defrosted and did not burst
3. running out of wood to heat the house, a friend dropped off a cord of wood for free
4. utilities that were found outside of our property line, an easement was found that covers us if they have to be moved.
5. a son who gouged his finger in shop class, but no stitches or shots were needed. it could have been a lot worse.
6. and several checks that “just showed up”
we serve a creative and timely God.
I love this!! God is so faithful–and either BEING His hands and feet or being blessed by those who serve in this way–still a huge blessing! Merry Christmas to your very special family! 🙂
we are asked to give a cup of cold water in His Name. We must decide what that cup of cold water is…the season is truly meaningful when we remember this.