My spirit was heavy yesterday as I went about my getting-ready-for-the-day routine. Fresh on my mind was the night before. Most of the day before, actually.
Aaron. Anger because we said no to a game. His hovering presence as he told me not to write his name on our Christmas cards. Escalation from him and then finally from us.
Guilt. Regret. Failure.
There, in the heaviness, one of my very favorite Christmas songs came on Pandora.
Put up the tree
Before my spirit
I may be
Deck the halls
I’ve loved that song since I was a child. Back then, life was simpler. Now, putting up a tree does not really keep my spirit from falling.
The day before, Aaron and I found out that one of our dear Meals on Wheels clients had suddenly died. His dog, Buster, was Aaron’s favorite. As we sat in the van, talking to the man’s daughter on the phone, Aaron was as shocked as I. He bent over and put the two dog bones he was going to give Buster back in the box. The look on his face broke my heart.
But Santa, dear
We’re in a hurry
Down the chimney
String of light
I’ve ever seen
The trappings of Christmas just aren’t cutting it right now.
Santa…lights…tinsel…definitely not fruitcake!
Not for me…not for my friend just diagnosed with breast cancer…not for our friends just home with their Speedy from yet another hospital stay…
For we need
A little music
A little laughter
A little singing
And we need
A little snappy
“Happy ever after”
Need a little
A little snappy “happy every after” is not what our friends at the funeral home needed to hear from us the other evening as they deeply grieve their son who took his life.
The next song began playing.
O little town of Bethlehem
How still we see thee lie
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by
Yet in they dark streets shineth
The everlasting light
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight
Oh holy child of Bethlehem
Descend to us we pray
Cast out our sins and enter in
Be born to us today.
Certainly not a peppy, fun song.
But there is the real light that we need! Our hopes and our fears…our pain and sadness…our disappointments…
All are met in Him!
Jesus came to be our Savior, not to be the afterthought of all our Christmas decorations and gifts and food.
O morning stars together
Proclaim thy holy birth
And praises sing to God the King
And peace to men on earth
O hear thy sacred angels
As faith holds wide the door
Then darkness wakes, the glory breaks
As Christmas comes once more.
Jesus was born to be the answer to all of life’s hurts…hurts that can’t be ignored even at this special time of year.
No amount of fevered activity can relieve our sorrows.
We can’t manufacture a festive answer that truly lasts. What are we left with when the lights are taken down…the food is eaten…the gifts are opened?
We’re left either with a hollow void waiting to be filled again with our feeble attempts at happiness.
Or we’re left with Jesus.
HE is the light of the world. He wants to be your Savior.
Jesus has the answers that truly last amid life’s struggles.
Thank God for His unspeakable gift, the only gift we really need.