i love christmas. love it. i love cinnamon. i love candy canes. i love the smell of a huge pine tree in the corner of our living room. (and i still don’t get fake trees- sorry i just don’t). i love baking high calorie goodies. i love watching my mom cook with all of the kiddos at her feet.i love building snowmen all over our yard. i love taking the blessings sledding. i love cold noses and warm hot coco. i love peppermint mochas( it really is christmas in your mouth). i love finding the perfect gift for my loved ones. i love quiet nights of snow flakes on my tongue. i love watching the lights on the tree sparkle in the eyes of the littlest blessing.
yet for the teacher. for him. christmas is not always so delightful. for he and many others in our family the holidays are difficult. we lost his brother over four years ago. it tore our family apart. some question God. some are angry. some are reclusive. some ache every moment of everyday. yet the teacher. for him. it comes most during the holidays. it was the one time a year he was guaranteed to see his brother. they lived hundreds of miles away from each other and with family, jobs, and distance they knew they would see each other at least once a year. so when the holidays come around to say that they are hard is an understatement. he misses him. he misses his laughter. he misses his humor. he misses that his blessings will never know their uncle. he misses that his family will never look the same. he misses that he never got to tell him about what God has done in his life.
and as i watch the teacher go through the holidays i am in awe. in awe of what he has done over the years. he now knows. he knows how important it is to be with family. to make the memories. to slow down. to be. to be with those you love. to chop down the tree. to make snowmen.to put extra marshmallows in the hot coco. to sled under the stars. to watch elf 50 times just to see the blessings belly laugh. to kneel before our Father and give praise to the One we celebrate.
he has me in awe. in awe of what Christ has done.Christ alone has carried us. Christ alone has transformed our hearts. Christ alone has broken our hearts for what breaks His.Christ alone has healed his broken heart. Christ alone has brought peace to our hearts. Christ alone has brought us to a church that has transformed our faith. Christ alone has given us friends that hold us in the ditches. only in Christ alone.
in this holiday season i urge you to remember. to remember those around you who are raw. raw with pain. raw with remembrance. raw with loneliness. raw with worry. raw with anger. raw with depression. raw with hopelessness. raw. and remember to pray. to be gentle. to be graceful. to be Chris to them. Christ alone.