Who will you be with this Christmas? This question can be the source of joy or stress (or both!)
Hosts and hostesses, guests and visitors, work out the answer and eventually settle on who will be there.
I want to talk with you if you are thinking right now about who will not be there. You may be a CEO, chairman, or intern, powerful or powerless in your organization, but loss has no respect for your position. Death does not defer to your job description.
So a shadow of grief sits in your soul, and somehow, at Christmas, it becomes more vivid and dark.
So I’m writing this to you if you lost someone recently enough for Christmas to be a time of grief, as well as everything else.
The shadow of grief plays all kinds of tricks with your wellbeing. You can be busy when something suddenly reminds you. You can be laughing and suddenly feel a tear.
Grief is not the exclusive companion of death. Grief accompanies loss of a job, a position, some money, a house, or a pet. Divorce, the death without a funeral, walks in the shadows of grief.
You know what your grief accompanies this season. Someone, something, no longer there. Sometimes you even grieve for the loss of your years, youth, or possibilities.
So into your world of Christmas grief steps the centre of Christmas himself. A new-born arrival, celebrating everything that is the opposite of grief. Too young to understand or experience.
Yet before he arrived, he had titles. Before Bethlehem, he was holding an identity with surprising labels: “Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief”.
How do you handle the shadows of grief at Christmas? Hopefully, one of those you are with will be a support, but there is One who comes to you “acquainted with grief”. The Christmas child brought hope, but now as an adult, lives in acquaintance with your grief. He knows, he understands, he shares. He is the only one who knows your grief better than you do. So he will stand in the shadows with you for as long as it takes. Talk to him.
Dedicated to Alex Legg who passed away 3 days after this was written. Enough dreams to go round now old friend.
He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and acquainted with grief. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
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