In the midst of hope, peace and joy, I’ve been feeling the blue.
Years ago, as my husband was dying, I had to make a necessary grocery run, and the cheerful clerk said, “Have a happy day!”
I mumbled my reply, fighting tears and fled. Happy wasn’t part of my vocabulary those days.
I know so many personally who are grieving this year. They are facing this Christmas with an empty chair at their table, and long to hear their voice, their laughter, once again. For some this grief is very fresh.
A beautiful person I know died this past week. Another in September. I think of their families, their friends, and those who miss them.
We need to create room for grief.
Before the pandemic I attended a helpful course on mental health, and one thing I remember is that one in four have mental health challenges. Depression and anxiety are on the rise. Not only are people grieving the loss of loved ones, but we are also grieving for what we have lost, over differences and divisions, and many feeling isolated and alone. Somehow, it is harder at Christmas time.
We need to create room for sadness.
Yes, this is the Sunday of Advent where we light the candle of Joy. I’ve been writing about it, and believe that joy comes, even as we acknowledge sorrow.
Jesus wept. I find that so comforting. Yes, he wept over the death of his dear friend. I believe he wept over the deep sorrow and grief of his friends.
He also said, “In this world you will have trouble… but I have overcome the world.” There is such comfort in this.
There are times where I would leave the MERRY off of Christmas, but Christmas still comes. And the Christ of Christmas, who became fully human to be with us, to experience human emotion, and trouble, suffering and grief, is WITH us. . .
So if your Christmas is blue, know you are not alone. May you know love, and comfort, and the knowledge that God has not abandoned us.