my friend RG pointed out to me years ago, this would never have been the case if Jesus had not come to us.
For some people, however, this is a painful time of year. A season to be gotten through, tackled, weathered like a storm. How can the rest of the world be rejoicing if someone I love is in the throes of a serious illness? How can I turn on a radio if I'm taking a chance on hearing my recently deceased father's favorite carol? Maybe my best friend or a beloved relative is off in a faraway land. While everyone else is celebrating, I just might burst into tears.
I suspect many of us have had such seasons, at one time or another, over the years. Times when we'd rather just skip the decorating and the ho-ho-hos and wait for a white blanket of January to settle the world back into its normal routine.
These words might seem strange to anyone who has never experienced loss. Depending upon our ages and states of life, we may be among those. However, if anyone reading this is grieving, in pain, depressed by the long dark nights of winter, or maybe just wishing the holidays
would be over and gone - know that you are not alone.
In fact, you are so "not alone" that I'm going to ask a favor of everyone reading this.
Could we each take just a minute and offer a little prayer for anyone
coming across these words who might be hurting? If this post gets to a
number of people, that could amount to quite a few prayers.
May God lift burdens, heal pains, comfort loneliness, and soothe hearts. 'We beseech You, Lord and Master, be our help and succor, save those
among us who are in tribulations, have mercy on the lowly, lift up the
fallen, show Yourself to the needy, heal the ungodly; convert the
wanderers of Your people, feed the hungry, release our prisoners, raise
up the weak, comfort the fainthearted, let all nations know You are
God.' (St. Clement of Rome)
'Cast all your cares on Him, because He cares for You.' (1 Peter 5:7)
(this is an edited version of a post first published on this blog last year)
Painting: Lukjan Vasilievich Popov, In the Garden 1911