At Christmas, we often get caught up in the hustle and bustle, trying to tackle our lists that have grown out of control. And sometimes it's hard to slow down and think about how painful Christmas might be for some people.
What about those who are apart from loved ones because of their jobs? Like soldiers, oil rig workers, TV news producers, or firefighters? Those people who won't be seeing smiles on their kids' faces on Christmas morning?
And what about those people who have lost a loved one, and this is their first Christmas without that person? I remember our first Christmas after my brother died. We all tried to put on a brave face, but it was hard. My mom couldn't take it and packed her stuff and abruptly left to drive back home to Georgia the next day. From Missouri. I imagine she probably cried for the majority of the drive home.
Today's task in the Christmas Countdown is simple: pray for those who are separated from the people they love. And maybe, if you feel moved to do so, you could also drop them a note to tell them they are not forgotten. Christmas can be painful, but it can also be healing.
Next on our list is #16.
UPDATE on this post: I wrote this and then checked my mail. In God's perfect timing, I received a card from a woman who was a friend of my mom's. I haven't heard from this woman in more than five years. She said she came across a letter that my sister and I sent after Mom died, and it made her think of Mom and how much she missed her. This woman wrote just to tell me that. It brought tears to my eyes, to know that Mom is remembered and that the kindness I just encouraged others to show has been turned back on to me.