Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A "merry" Christmas

Winter Grief, Sumer Grace, by James E. Miller, page 25:

Winter can be the cruelest season of the year, 
   cold and dreary, depressing and long.
This can also be true of your grief's winter:
   the air feels raw, days grow tedious, nights go on forever.
The shock and numbness that first shielded you have worn away.
Now you must face had-on what lies all around you:
   all that you miss and all that you fear,
   all your sorrow and all your dread. 
There can be a piercing loneliness to winter grief. 
Not only are you separated from the one who died,
   you can also feel isolated from those around you,
   perhaps even alienated from yourself.
People who do not understand how plodding grief can be
   may not be ready to bear all of your moods or all of your moans.
And your world can appear so different,
   so silent, so stark, so empty.
This is exactly the world you need. 

I love this poem, but especially the last line. This season I find myself looking at the world around me with a growing frustration. A growing frustration that feels more like a righteous anger. The lights, the singing, the "joy", the laughter, the parties, the treats…  I love all of these things, but where can I grieve? And where is Christ?

Without berating the issue, I want to say this: I am exactly where I am supposed to be. And the truth is, I am much closer to the lowly scene upon which Christ made his most magnificent entrance into the world… than many of you. I am not weak to grieve. Being broken isn't the same thing as needing fixing. At least not when we are broken unto Christ. I am blessed. I am favoured. I am loved. And I am courageous. And on this Christmas, in the most humble of places, my Jesus dwells with me. 

Be merry, this Christmas. And be humble. For he exalts those who are bowed low.

You will show me the path of life; In Your Presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11)

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