Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Isn't Joy for Everyone

I am reminded this morning as I am celebrating the birth of the Savior of the World: the Son of God who became man, so that men could become son's of God; that many people are in pain and cannot fully accept or appreciate the gifts or even the simple greeting: Merry Christmas!

My heart grieves for them because they are grieving. They are grieving the loss of loved ones, or health, or jobs, or something equally as tragic and important. They look at those of us who are celebrating and wonder why? Why did someone have to be taken from them or why did they get cancer or some other terrible disease. 

It is hard, no it may be impossible to accept the simple Merry Christmas greeting of others without being hurt and cynical and saying under their breath, "If you only knew," or "What's so Merry about it?"

I know people who are hurting today. And it hurts more today because they want to be happy, but they cannot. They withdraw.

What can I say to them? Nothing. 

I am reminded of verses from Job 2:12-13 where some friends came upon Job who was suffering a tragedy.

2:12 But when they gazed intently from a distance but did not recognize him, they began to weep loudly. Each of them tore his robes, and they threw dust into the air over their heads. 2:13 Then they sat down with him on the ground for seven days and seven nights, yet no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his pain was very great. (NET Bible)

No one said a thing. Sometimes the right thing to say is nothing at all. But the most important thing was being together, they were there, even in the silence.

That is what we need to do to help our friends and family who are suffering during this season--be with them and help them to know, not through words but through actions, that they are loved and supported. 

I pray that those who mourn will be comforted, those who suffer illnesses will find relief, and those who are facing the worst that life can dish out will find the strength to wake up tomorrow and say to themselves: today is the first day of the rest of my life and I am not going to waste it!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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