18 days: a blue Christmas
Before the darkest day of my life, I thought the title of today’s blog was just a schmaltzy holiday tune. After experiencing profound and tragic loss, it became more of a realistic sentiment. A rural church in my area annually hosts a Blue Christmas service where grieving families can come to remember lost loved ones. I have never attended, but I do think the ceremony could bring comfort to many.
I have written before about my struggle with hanging stockings because I should have seven children’s stockings to hang instead of three. I DREAD that day each year. On my part it involves a lot of stall tactics and general avoidance.
I am so thankful however that my friends do not utilize those same tactics. Employing aptly timed visits, phone calls, or texts, they seem to sense a gentle nudging from our Father above that I am feeling down. The blessing of their friendship works EVERY single time.
Every day, I exchange daily prayer requests with a dear one in my life. Today, she told me about a small act that she did over the weekend. Feeling worn and weary from her own life’s struggles, she just needed to do something to bless someone else as a way to pick up her own holiday mood. As she was telling me the story, my mind was racing around the thought that I SO get it when you feel you have used up all your goodness and mercy. When everything seems to be going wrong, the only thing that makes sense is to find a way to reach out and brighten someone else’s day.
She went to the store and bought a small bag of treats and delivered the gift to a grieving mom. Her retelling the story made me choke up, because I understand how one small act, at a time when everyone else is anticipating Christmas day with great joy, can be transformational. A small kindness reminds me and every other grieving person that our loved one hasn’t been forgotten. A simple token whispers directly to the soul saying a name we long for no one to forget.
My friend’s story reminded me of all the acts (big and small) that friends (near and far) have done for me and my family. Each kindness changing the hue of a blue Christmas by pointing us to the true author of hope – a tiny baby wrapped in swaddling clothes!