by Trey Campbell, firstname.lastname@example.org
As I was driving solo this day, Christmas morning, I drove past houses on my way to take a friend’s three dogs out and found myself sporting a goofy grin (which is not unusual when I’m alone, as I amuse myself often). I could see lights inside and the outlines of sparkly Christmas trees through windows. I noticed cars lined up in driveways and in yards – families who had come together from both near and far. Families everywhere are celebrating Christmas! I imagined the kids in the homes ripping through the paper to see what loot they scored.
As I drove on, my tone turned a bit more somber, my smile somewhat faded. The realization set in that while so many families were celebrating the birth of Jesus, opening presents, and guzzling eggnog by the gallon, there is another side of Christmas for others – a bleak, grim side. Some families are broken, some individuals have deep hurt, some struggle with depression, addictions, health issues, loneliness or heartache, loved ones serving overseas, and even financial hardships. As you read this, you might even fall into one of those examples.
Although the birth of Jesus is a time of jubilant celebration, there are those who are hurting and those who don’t know the love of Christ. These thoughts continued to come to me as I drove down the streets to reach my destination. I was noticing how some homes were lit up like Clark Griswold’s house, while others were dark and void of holiday cheer and festivities.
As I returned home, I sat in my car in the driveway behind the house, radio off, only to look over at a horse staring me down from the farm next door, waiting for me to come over. “Too bad horse, I got to sit here and process,” I thought. My mind then went to my two daughters. I wonder if they understand why we, as a family, don’t go “overboard” on Christmas? In fact, we have what I call a “modest Christmas” each year. I wonder, at the ages of 13 and 9, if they fully understand the Christian meaning of Christmas rather than the commercialization of a holiday that sells happiness? You see, the world is not always a happy place. It’s broken and full of sin. The beauty of it? A Savior was born unto us!
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.
– Luke 2:11
Out of the ugly comes the beautiful!
Out of the fallen comes the risen!
Out of desperation comes hope…
These are things I want to pass to my daughters. I want them to know the good and the bad so they know the difference. So they can choose. So they can be in a place to help others. I want this for you as well.
It’s my hope that what ever your current situation, celebratory, bah-humbug, or in-between, know there is life-changing healing ahead (if you want it). Know there is a brighter tomorrow and a light of hope. This light is celebrated today. And it’s not the light of the Christmas tree. It’s the light of Jesus Christ.
So friends, as we celebrate today, let us not forget those who are hurting, are without their families, or have no family. If you are fortunate enough to be celebrating, seek out those who need someone in their life to pick them up and point them toward the true light. Each Christmas we live to see can be a mixed bag. There’s no guarantee what the next one will hold for us in our lives. Make it count! Not just today, but every time opportunity presents itself.