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Oh, my friends!

A few days before Christmas a few years ago, I woke up with open sores and bites around my side. The next day, the itchy marks spread to my back and torso. By the third day, they were around my stomach.

When I took a photo of the marks to send to a friend with a medical background, she urged me to go to a doctor immediately.

You see, other than battling cancer, 2020 was the most traumatic year of my life. The horror, the loss of life, the tragedy that I’ve seen among close friends and confidants has left me breathless. We sit at the end of a challenging year, on the cusp of a new.

I don’t believe that a flip of a calendar day can save us.

I don’t believe that a vaccine can save us (though it will spare countless lives–so grateful).

I don’t believe that an economic stimulus package can save us (though it will carry many of us through this financially trying time).

Though I’m grateful for all these things, the only one who saves is Christ. Jesus is the savior of the world, and he’s also the savior of you and me.

I spent much of 2020 studying the book of Revelation. If there’s one thing I discovered, it’s the extravagant hope of Christ isn’t just found in the light, it’s found in the darkness.

Though we long for the day “He will wipe every tear from their eyes” (Revelation 21:4)…

The truth is, Jesus cups your face, stares into your eyes, and wipes away your tears today. Not a single groan or ache or wave of sadness or loss has escaped his notice.

Jesus sees you.

And his hold on your life will be no less when the calendar turns, the vaccine arrives, or stimulus is distributed.

In a season of extremes–of trauma and loss and pain and celebration and joy–Jesus is still giving us a fresh revelation of him. And so we give thanks.

Oh, and on the eve of Christmas Eve, I visited UrgentCare where scabies were ruled out. Bed bugs unlikely (but washed everything in extra hot water to be sure). Most likely, this was an allergic reaction to something that, well, we don’t know what it is.

The good news is that, with some medicine, the sores are healing, and the scratchiness has subsided, and we’re 98.7% sure it wasn’t bedbugs.

Thanks for loving me in this rough and tumble time. I’m so grateful for each of you.

Much love,

Margaret

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