As the old song says, ‘tis the season to be jolly… But not for some.
Some hurt: they hurt beyond anything that anyone can explain with words. This morning I joined in their suffering. A man died—a strong man. He was a heart friend to many, husband, father, son-in-law, and more. Those who knew him, loved him. He suffered greatly, and today, his suffering ended. We are all relieved…for him.
They hoped for one last Christmas, one last Christmas that won’t happen. I’ve watched this man be so well loved. The sacrificial kindness of family, co-workers, and friends was awe-inspiring. They said, it was what he would have done for them. And, he would have.
Not the Christas this family hoped and prayed for. They are planning a funeral, instead of planning Christmas dinner. This morning as I was praying for their friends and family, I had this thought—there will be unopened gifts, with his name on them, under the Christmas tree. I can imagine all of the extra special gifts, given this Christmas, because there wouldn’t be another. Without him there, I can imagine the grief and joy of opening the gifts, while thinking of each giver’s tender love.
He, and his wife, lived each day to its fullest. They figured it out. Thank you for the lesson that every day begins as an unopened gift. We can choose to open each day, flaws and all, as a good gift given.
We have people all around us: they are unopened gifts. We can choose to seek them out and enjoy their company. I’m asking myself, will I take the time for my husband today? Will I put down the phone when he enters the room. What if I didn’t have him in my life anymore—how I would long for one more chance to enjoy the gift that he is. We all have unopened gifts before us, we simply need to look around. And maybe, just maybe, we are that gift that someone else needs. We can give the gift of our presence, to brighten their day.
In this season, where many are joyful, let’s remember those who are hurting, grieving, and alone. There is always something we can do: send a card, make a call, or text, send flowers (or drop off/mail a small gift), order a meal to be delivered—something, anything, to let them know they are not alone. We are all shades of happy-sad, right? I find that when I feel low, thinking of something I can do to encourage someone else, lifts my gloom.
I love Isaiah 58:10, especially the version that uses the word gloom. And if you give yourself to the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, Then your light will rise in darkness and your gloom will become like midday.
It essentially says, if you do something for someone in need, YOUR gloom will be lifted! The principle is that light displaces darkness. Just to make the analogy mose clear it says like midday–the noon sun–which is the brightest part of the day!
Let’s go into this season of light looking for unopened gifts. Let’s go into this season of light looking to dispel the darkness: be the gift that is needed. In doing so, we will lighten someone’s burden and lift someone gloom and perhaps even our own!