I’m a huge Christmas fan. I start listening to Christmas music in November, and I put my tree and decorations up the day after Thanksgiving. Yep, I’m that annoying person. I try to refrain from posting too many of those irritating ‘inspirational Christmas quotes’ on my FB page… but yeah, for the most part this time of year I go crazy.
Last night, I read a post on FB about how Christmas for many people can just plain suck. There were over ONE THOUSAND responses to that post… most of which detailed personal tragedy and pain like I’ve graciously not had to endure. My heart was breaking for these people who were bravely laying their personal pain out and were asking for prayers and love. What a vulnerable position.
God help me to be aware of the pain that so many people endure this time of year. Our family has such joy, even among our own personal battles and hardships. And there are battles and hardships here. Many, actually. But when I look a little longer… seeing the details of my kid’s freckled noses, their tinkly laughter, Chris’ big voice on the phone talking fish prices and weather patterns… when I feel the warmth my heater puts out and smell the lasagna bubbling in my oven… My hard stuff seems smaller. And when my stuff is smaller, I have more room for offering love to someone who might be running on empty this year.
I’m looking out this year. Eyes open, I’m taking notice of that person who bears the scar of pain or loneliness. Not because I feel that I can fix it. But because if I am aware, maybe I won’t cause further pain… and possibly I’ll be able offer a gift of warmth and kindness during their difficult time.
We wish all of you a Christmas that is warm, bright and full of hope. For those of you who are hurting or lonely please know that you are loved. You are not alone. There are people in the world who have life and love to share, who care about your heart.