…with the kids Jingle-belling and everyone telling you “Be of Good Cheer!”

My tiny human came over for a visit last night. After doling out the obligatory hugs she headed straight to the stairs (her playroom is up there) like she always does. She looked around the room for anyone who might be looking back and when she found me watching her, she whispered in the sweetest voice, “My mom said I could.” I knew what she was asking. How could I not follow and turn on the lights for that sweet face? It’s pitch dark up there.  (To be fair, sometimes I say “Hey, let’s play down here this time” because, you know, stairs…but hey, it’s Christmas!) So I did. I followed her up the stairs, turned on the lights, sat on the couch and watched her unwind in her favorite element. She began preparing things in her tiny kitchen and told me she needed those “glove things” to take the hot pots off the stove. I told her they are called pot holders. She responded, “Yes, Grammy, those  – I need those.” Ha! My four year old needs pot holders for her kitchen. I’ve never shopped for tiny pot holders but you can pretty well guarantee I will be doing that today.

We chatted about other tiny stuff. I knew she had a special friend that was going to be at her daycare yesterday, so I asked her how her day went. Sure enough, she told me her friend was there. Then the conversation went south. She said her friend was mean to her at the playground and pushed her down (she re-enacted this part for me), which hurt her leg and made her cry and cry and ask for her mommy. I don’t know how much of this story is 100% accurate but it didn’t matter because I’m the Grammy and I got sucked into the situation quickly. I was not of good cheer. My 4 year old was bullied! Which broke only half of my heart because the other half wanted to give the parents of the perpetrator a very animated call. In the end, time-outs were issued and justice was served. But still…

We know the tough side of life is going to happen but we still want to shield our tribe from it as long as possible.

The tough side has appeared in some major ways this year. So many of my friends have lost loved ones recently, unexpectedly, and they are facing Christmas morning with a heaviness too thick to see past, a sorrow too vast to comprehend unless you’ve been there. Sickness. Depression. Violence. Hatred. In the midst of a season that by all accounts should be filled with laughter and good cheer, we are faced with the opposite. In heavy doses. When do we get a reprieve?

I don’t have an answer for when, but I believe a day of reprieve is on its way. In the meantime, I’d like to offer some of you going through unimaginable suffering this season all I know to give.

 

I pray your heart finds moments of peace and joy in the days to come.

I pray you are able to seize happy and precious opportunities with loved ones, no matter how seemingly small. Take the selfies! Share, share, share your life with your friends and those around you who love you immensely, for we are all in this together.

I pray all the cookies and gingerbread houses, Christmas tunes and ugly sweaters, feasts and family traditions make you smile. Really smile, deep inside.

I pray that fences are mended.

I pray that the generosity of humanity will rise again to new and greater heights and gather you close.

I pray the Guardian of Lights will hold the darkness at bay, so that you can see once again the wonder of a manger holding a tiny baby and a big promise.

I pray that, if you haven’t already, you will invite Jesus into your heart and life and trust Him completely to someday make sense out of everything. Because He will, my friends. He will. But until that day comes…

There will come a day when God will be our light
And the dark of night will be sent to its grave
And there will come a time when we will live forever
In a city that will never pass away

Oh how my soul yearns and even faints

But until that day comes
I will go and warn the darkness
That the light of Jesus Christ has overcome
And until that day comes
I will speak to all injustice
That the moment of its ending is sure to come
Oh the day will surely come

We who are His church must prepare His coming
And go and tell the nations of His worth
Let us give our lives to the calling that is on us
To bind up every wound and every hurt

All things will be made right, we’ll stand in holy light
A pure and spotless bride before the Lord Most High
On the dawning of that day old things will pass away
Until we see His face, let us prepare the way

But until that day comes
I will go and warn the darkness
That the light of Jesus Christ has overcome
And until that day comes
I will speak to all injustice
That the moment of its ending is sure to come
Oh the day will surely come

by Sean Carter

Much love and good cheer to you all. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas,

Diane

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