‘Tis the season to be merry. I’ve witnessed much love, joy and giving. Just this weekend as I shopped with my teenage daughter, I witnessed a chain reaction of paying it forward at a mall Starbucks. It was rewarding. It was fun. It filled me with joy to watch others pass it on by buying the person’s coffee standing in line behind them.
Amidst all the joy and hustle and bustle, I have also witnessed the many heartaches people are suffering. The joy is lost to them – the impending empty chair at the Christmas meal dinner table, sickness, financial hardship, natural disasters, loss of a job, addictions.
My own life has changed much this past year…mostly financially. While we have what we need, the lifestyle my family has been accustomed to was dramatically impacted. We started our own business, and well, it has NOT been easy. We have certainly been humbled. Honestly, I think that has been a very good thing for us. I am so very thankful we have what we need. We are warm in the cold. We are fed in hunger. We have a place to call home.
I have seen many author friends go through loss and life-changing struggles. So many people stepped up to help and show love. In other instances, I saw many attacked for sharing their opinions or for just being different. So much hate. It was heartbreaking and alarming at times.
I have found myself wishing my grandchildren were growing up in a world more like when I was a child. Freedom. We had such freedom to be innocent. I know we can’t go back, but I also know only by each one of us acting can we make a difference.
Fear can paralyze us or mobilize us. I don’t believe it is complicated. My heart hurts for so many reasons tonight as I reflect on the few situations I am aware of going on in people’s lives right now. If I asked each of you if you knew of someone struggling, I am confident each one of you would answer yes.
God commands us to love one another. I believe it is that simple. Love can build a bridge that helps one person at a time and grows as we hopefully pass it on.
Give someone a hug that needs it. Offer someone a ride. Help your neighbor rake their yard. Eat lunch with someone at work. Pack an extra sandwich in your child’s lunch to share with someone new. Give the mailman a Christmas card. Tell a teacher thank you.
Time and effort can mean more to someone than gold. I know I have been reminded this week to be kind. Show love. Offer friendship. Maybe it sounds cheesy, but I write romance. I have a tendency to be cheesy. 🙂
I challenge you to look around and not miss the opportunity to shower someone with a little extra love as we approach the birth of Christ. I think that is the greatest birthday gift he could receive.
I wish you all a very Merry and Blessed Christmas.