But, for so many people, this is a time of sorrow, pain, and of hurt.
I was sitting at my desk today with the door propped open, and a visitor to our hospital was walking by. I asked him, as I have in the past, "how are you doing?" He honestly said, "not so well." I asked him "how was his life?" He responded, "I wish it was better." I could see that instantly his eyes welled up with tears.
So often, we ask how people are, but do we really care? Are we ready to hear anything but "good" or "great?" What do we do when they say "I'm not doing so well?" Do we engage them and inquire?
So often I think about my relationships with others, people I know, people I just met.
Do I really make an effort to connect with people? Do I try to exhibit Christ-Like characteristics?
This time of year is so painful for so many people. So many people have horrible life stories. So many people do not have anyone to love. So many people feel unloved. So many people have been abused and mistreated. So many people feel worthless, inadequate, and hopeless.
My gift this year has nothing to do with money, I am going to spend each day, for the next 3 weeks, really trying to make a difference in at least 1 person's life each day.
I know we can be so easily influenced by the secularization of Christmas. At least to some extent, our family is immune to that since we do not have a TV. OK, before you think we are nuts and some kind of radicals, we do celebrate Christmas. Our kids do receive a few presents, although we did stopped going crazy a few years ago. The focus this year will be on the real meaning of Christmas.
Christmas is a time to reflect and await the return of Christ. He has already been born, it isn't about a rebirth, but rather about the mystery and the the awe of what he did for us; taking on a human form, divine as well, but a human form, for us. He will come again........
Christmas has it's roots in Christ. I hope, with the help of my family, to enjoy the season with love, kindness, awe, and humility. Our giving will not be so much in a monetary form, but rather from the heart and soul, where it really counts.
Another late night purging of my thoughts prior to going to bed.