It’s interesting how that one small word affects us all in various degrees, in some way or another. Wait – sir, you left your wallet on the counter! Or Wait, I didn’t mean to say that. Or Wait, what just happened? Maybe it’s Wait your turn. Or even Wait – don’t do that! Wait. Hold please. Sometimes welcomed, but most often, not so much.
Gemma has always been a smart child (good genes) but she is getting to the age where she’s a genuine hoot to be around, too. So much sass and personality wrapped up in a tiny human package. We have waited for 3 years for her to hit a childhood milestone, and finally, this week her moment arrived: she got her picture made with Santa. She did it! No tears. No terrors. She sat up tall and offered a big cheesy grin for the camera. Yes! Except for the fact that she spent all that time describing in detail what she wanted for Christmas and then had some…how shall I put it…difficulty (the fit pitching kind) when he told her she had to wait until Christmas to get it. (Merry Christmas and a ho ho ho to you, little girl!)
The struggle is real for a 3 year old at Christmas.
In some way we are all in a season of waiting. Waiting for Santa to deliver on his promise. Waiting on the holidays to hurry up and get here so we can prop up our feet and settle in to some much needed peace. Waiting on the holidays to hurry up and just be over. Waiting for the wedding day. Waiting on the test results. Waiting for a financial breakthrough. Waiting for the stress to ease up. Waiting on the pain to lessen its grip. Waiting on God. Just waiting on something.
The Thanksgiving through Christmas season has always been my favorite time of year, but especially so the older I get. It starts sometime in October. I put on my winterized cap of melancholy and pretty much wear it until the ball drops in NYC. I am always eager for the lights, the gatherings, the sights and smells of holiday traditions, to come back to life after a season of dormancy. I love just about everything there is to love about the whole merry thing, but Heaven forbid that I get so caught up in my own little world that I fail to see someone else’s struggle. Or even worse, that I fail to respond.
The truth is, a lot of people I know are entering this season carrying a new burden and a fresh heartache. The holidays seem to magnify it. A high school friend lost her mom to cancer this year. A friend from work lost her marriage through divorce this year. A family member is struggling to make ends meet. A lot of people are facing some really tough challenges. I could go on and on. I’d venture to say that these people are in your world, too. And that’s just at home. Globally?
The struggle is real for all of us.
And so this year, I’m asking myself what can I do, how can I enter into someone else’s wait and lighten the load a bit. Here at home. There’s an Angel Tree in every supermarket. There’s a food drive at my church. Opportunities exist on every corner of our cozy towns, if we gaze a little longer. I wonder if it would be weird to pick out some random person in Walmart, maybe a frazzled mom with a fit pitching child of her own, follow her around in the store, and then give the cashier my credit card when she gets to the checkout. Just bless somebody’s socks off. There are a lot of really good people out there who are waiting on something. Maybe we all need a little company.