Tomorrow is Christmas Eve, and I am filled with mixed emotions. I am grateful my daughter is home for Christmas and I am able to spend time with her. (By the way she said I mis-characterized what happened at Thanksgiving, but I what I do know is that my shins still hurt.) My two sons are at opposite ends of the country this season. One is in Washington State with his in-laws and the other is on the east coast. I miss them and their families, but we have been so very blessed as a family. Sure, we have worries and concerns, but all in all we have abundance.
I feel for those who are burdened, and I cannot help but see them every day. I see the homeless, and I see those weighted down with emotional and physical trials, and I long to do more than I am able. It is easy not to see those undergoing a challenge in their life; we simply turn our heads and look the other way. But I promise you that if you will see, and if you will do what you can, Christmas will indeed be a special time of year for those you help and for you and your family.
I mourn also for the families of those recently killed in Afghanistan, and I pray they will be comforted. We sometimes forget the price paid on behalf of this nation to afford us the life we enjoy. This season marks a time when we can be a beacon of light for someone, and we can fulfill the promise begun in a stable two thousand years ago. None of us have a monopoly on God, but we can be his face and his hands as we stop to see those around us who are in need.
When we do so we will indeed see that there are miracles. I am providing some free legal work for a family in need. This morning I filed a motion to afford them some financial relief. The clerk who handles the electronic filings noticed it, and promised to get it in front of the judge today. This is a little blessing because the Court will be closed for the next four days beginning tomorrow and the relief is needed now. I am sure the judge will rule wisely, but if not a way will be found to give the relief necessary.
Peace and charity begin with us. I love the definition of charity that I have found. Charity is not a handout, rather it is the “pure love of Christ.” We can be a light and beacon to those around us. We simply need to see. There is a story in which a people put down their weapons of war and buried them deep in the earth. They did so to honor a pledge they had made to cease fighting with their brethren. What weapons of war can we bury and forget? Can we for a season or more put down our weapons and instead offer to those around us peace and charity? I think we can, and I see it happen in the good news so rarely published of what good people do all the time.
All of us can give a little. It might mean putting an end to violence in a family; it might take the form of forgiving another or perhaps forgiving ourselves for a wrong committed. It might mean drawing a line on the ground and saying, “no more” to a pattern of behavior that is self-destructive. It might just take the form of seeing the needs of another for the first time.
So with this, I wish all of you joy this season. It is a season of hope, and if you cannot do it alone call us. We will help or point you in the right direction.
*Addendum – within hours of writing this blog, the judge granted my motion on behalf of the family I wrote about above. Christmas miracles do happen!