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holiday

I almost sent my Christmas cards this year, then I remembered.

Steeped in a darkness so thick, so foggy, I could not breathe.

The Christmas everyone else celebrated, I mourned.

Loss of youth.
Loss of health.
Loss of innocence.

My first Christmas draining toxic liquid from my body post-surgery. Replacing gauze. Staring in the mirror at a ghastly sight. Fa-la-la-insert questionable mourning language here.

I listened to friends grumble of the hustle and bustle and thought, Oh, if only, I’d do anything for that to be my concern-meet-complaint. If only.

If only…

I could have my old life back.
I didn’t feel this striking pain.
My illusions hadn’t shattered.
I didn’t know it could hurt this bad.
I could push Christmas another few months, another year.

Maybe for you, this Christmas (and Thanksgiving) season is a season of joy. Present-filled. Giggling children. Cookie parties. Buying stocking stuffers. Wrangling the big sale.

Oh, for the joy, for the celebration. Truly, I throw a dance party for you.

But before you forget. I must remind you, ever so gently, that not everyone feels this way.

Some of the single moms in your life are struggling to buy gifts for their kids.
Some of the widows are struggling to pass through their first (or another) Christmas alone.
Some of the of those from broken homes struggle to know how to celebrate.
Some of those with babies who didn’t make it. sigh This was their Christmas.

The stingy ache.
The hidden tears.
The deep loneliness.

They dread and fear and weep in hidden silence.

But you, sweet you, can be the one who reaches out. The one who breaks the silence. The one who enters their pain. The one who ushers….

CHRIST-A-LUH-YAH!

Yes, you are the one who proclaims: Christ-a-luh-yah!

How?

By pausing before you send the Christmas wishes.

STOP. DROP. PRAY.

Pray hard. Fervent. Passionate.

When I did, I found two names: Liz and Kelz.

I heard the Lord whisper, “These are your two.”

For them, we will slip in cash, instructing them to surprise their kiddos with extra joy.

My hunch is that if you pause over your list,   you will find two names, maybe more, to shower the love of God in and through. You will find two names in which to proclaim, “The kingdom of God is here, now.”

They may be widows or widowers… and if they are, speak the name of their precious spouse.
They may be empty wombers… and if they are, speak words of hope and life and promise.
They may be unemployed… and if they are, speak generosity into their lives.
They may be divorced… and if they are, speak words of friendship and love.

This year, my friends, is not a year of generic letters, but a year of love.

May we celebrate this Christmas as the family of God… Find your two… and love them deep.


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