I’m someone who loves holidays—Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, Groundhog Day, Valentine’s Day. You name it, I’m all in. This Christmas, though, I’m especially thinking of those for whom the holidays aren’t so happy.
I lost my friend in February. Her family is on my heart, as are her other friends. Beth loved Christmas, and she made it even more special for those of us who love her. I know she’s celebrating Christmas with the birthday boy this year. Still, as much as I miss her I know her family misses her even more. This will be a difficult year.
My friends Michael and Kim will be memorializing their firstborn son tomorrow. He was born in late January 2009 and has spent his entire young life in the hospital. He slipped from this world on Saturday evening, surrounded by love. I can’t imagine the pain they’re feeling. I also can’t imagine that happiness will be a part of this Christmas, even as they know the soul-deep joy of Christ.
I know several people who are separated from family, either by distance or by conflict. I know people who dread the idea of getting together with family only slightly less than the wrath incurred by not showing up. I know people who slip into a deep depression this time of year. Nothing in this season brings joy for them.
These are the people I’m thinking of and praying for this week.