I was reminded last week that while we all strive for “the perfect holiday” season that things aren’t always so. By the end of last week I had learned of three friends who in two days lost family members in very unexpected tragedies and my heart was so sad for them. Then I get a text from my son that same afternoon that his high school was on “lockout” and he didn’t know what was going on but they were told it was not a drill. He was texting me from a dark room where everyone was sitting in silence until they heard some further news. During the middle of the whole ordeal his phone died. So I was left helpless at home wondering what in the world was going on and my mom brain imagining the worst. It was 30 minutes of the biggest pit in my stomach and lots of prayers. Everything in that situation turned out to be fine….it was outside the school and all the high schoolers were safe. But I couldn’t stop thinking about it and all the other tragedies I had learned of over the last couple of days.
And then over the weekend I read a story…about a man who was sitting in the hospital with his dying father on Christmas Eve. This man was so sad that not only his father was slowly passing away, but that it was also happening on Christmas Day. And then in the next wing over in a quiet hospital he heard the distinct cry of a baby that had just been born. He talked about that experience of hearing the baby cry as a distinct turning point for him….here he was so so sad, and someone in the next wing over was so so happy to welcome a new baby into the world. It gave him a small reminder that yes, while there is sadness and tragedy in the world that there is also good.
I cried and cried as I read the story over the weekend. My heart was so full of sadness for these friends of mine….but I also needed to remember that there is still good in the world. And I can be a small piece of that good. I can “mourn with those that mourn” and help lift those around me with small acts of kindness and service.
So, that is my goal this holiday….to “give good tidings of comfort and joy” to all around me. Comfort and joy are what the season is about.
Want to join me?