Sunday morning as I paused to text 2 dear friends currently in the throes of hospital visits and cancer treatments, my thoughts were transported to Christmas 10 years ago. I remember wondering, in the flurry of holiday activity surrounded by my own husband’s daily cancer treatments, what it all meant. He’d been diagnosed with internal Melanoma during Thanksgiving week. My mind was still numb to the reality, but aware enough to know life wasn’t the same, and some huge monster had invaded our home, and I was scared if I thought too much. All of a sudden, who cared if the Grinch stole Christmas, and how horrible would it really be if some child didn’t get the toy they’d hoped Santa would bring? Suddenly, much that seemed to matter to the world around me no longer mattered to me. I needed a huge dose of hope and an assurance that even if the world was moving at break neck speed over seemingly trivial things, that someone saw us, and our struggle, and cared.
Is that where you are as the Christmas season approaches? If so, whether cancer, or a wayward child, or…. I get it. Even now in the stillness and peace of my home 10 years later, grief slaps me afresh as I replay those scenes. Reality is, life is never fixed by Hallmark’s “Christmas Magic”, no matter how much we’d hoped it would be. Christmas can be messier than we’d like to admit.
I did find the hope I longed for that Christmas, as an amazingly intimate God bent down and wept with me in so many ways. As I daily, quietly spent time with him to quell the chaos around me, the Holy Spirit began to comfort my heart with an amazing thought:
God’s Son’s first Christmas was very messy.
As that thought sank in, I began to look at Christmas from a completely different paradigm.
I wish I could sit with you, pour you a cup of tea, hold your hand and encourage you with the idea that everything will turn out just fine. But I can’t. I can assure you from the other side of the mess that because Jesus chose to enter a world full of messes that first Christmas, there is hope beyond what you now face.
Would you join me the next 4 weeks leading up to Christmas Day? Each week we will look at a different aspect of the first Christmas, and allow The Father and the Son who came to cry with us.
The first day of the week I will share a meditation to ponder. Other days I will share a prayer, a song, a short story of hope, or a suggestion for making the holiday easier. Please join me. Also, please, speak up! I’d love your thoughts and comments as the weeks progress – how this is helping or not, and what is or has worked for you. Thanks!
With love and prayers,