As 2020 is draws to a close, it has been a year that will be known as the most horrible year of our life. With the Covid-Virus taking a firm grip on countries worldwide, it has impacted every person to some degree.
As the holiday season begins, we have been asked by our government to cancel Christmas celebrations this year. Christmas parades, parties, bazaars, and plays will not be a part of the season this year. Many restaurants, churches, and other places of festivities are not allowed this year. Many large cities and states are under lockdown again (or still). People have lost their businesses. Suicides, domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, and deep depression has hit many. This truly is one of the biggest challenges our country has faced in decades.
As Christians, my husband and I choose to remember our Lord. Participating in the secular We give what money we would have spent on Christmas presents to organizations that others have a lovely Christmas. We don’t begrudge other’s secular celebration of the season. We just chose not to participate in the traditional commercialized way. It has eliminated the stress, anxiety, and expectations that the secular holiday demands.
Instead of bragging about your Christmas shopping and post pictures of wrapped gifts under the tree, please remember: Some parents have lost their jobs. They don’t know how they’re going to feed their kids or buy presents for them. Some families are receiving unemployment and barely managing to pay bills. Other people have lost family members, and Christmas won’t be the same now or ever again. Those people who don’t shop online (and yest, some don’t even own a computer) have no idea when or how they’ll shop. Some folks are completely isolated and alone and have only memories of past family Christmas to remember. For those that are ill, Christmas shopping is the last thing on their minds. So remember, it’s more important to be thankful for those around your tree rather than what’s under it. Be humble, thoughtful, and kind. That’s what the holiday season is really about.
Every summer, my best buddy, Sheryl and I get together for a weekend of, “Gal/Pal” fun. What previously was a three-minute walk down the street as youngsters, now undergoes a grueling six-hour drive crossing two state lines. Our friendship of fifty-two years includes many transformations, from childhood, teenagers, young adults, mature adults and now seniors. We grew up knowing each other’s family. As neighbors, she and I were constantly together. We shared laughter, tears, good times and bad. We will remain friend until one of us goes home to be with the Lord.
This past winter I volunteered in the high school ministry group. I was sorry to hear many teens don’t have a friend they’ve had since third grade. The young ladies from teen group were envious of having a friend for fifty-two years. The biggest difference of then and now is when I was growing up, people just didn’t move around. Parents stayed together, bought their home, raised their children and remained in the home long after their children had children of their own. Kids knew each other, played together, went to school and graduated together. Those were the wonderful times.
Sheryl came to visit this weekend. We had a fantastic time shopping, having lunch, going to a museum, the local Farmer’s Market and Sunday Service at my local church. As we found our seats, there were two women sitting in a few seats down.
We greeted each other and shared a few pleasantries, waiting for the sermon to begin. There was something about Debbie and her mother, Jean that just felt comfortable to me. I could see the power of the Lord in both women. They were both radiant physically and spiritually. Seldom do I feel a connection with people I just meet. My personality type you could say is more of a recluse than a gregarious type. I felt the power of the Lord moving me to reach out to these ladies. I wanted to get together, have lunch and get acquainted. As I prayed, the Lord told me I should share one of my Sister Christian cards with her. I had forgotten I even had them in my purse. She was so gracious and expressed her desire to reach out to me.
As Sheryl and I said our good-byes, I told her how excited I was to get to know these ladies. Sheryl said she felt the power of the Lord in them too. I was so excited to have made a new friend while saying good-bye to my old friend.
The Lord wants us to be in relationship with others. We are one family. For those of us that have no biological living family members, our church family can be a wonderful replacement. We all have one Father and all of us are children of Christ.