The Other Side of Christmas

I sit in a quiet living room, the morning half over, working on my third cup of coffee, no one else out of bed, and a grand site of chaotic clutter. It is the other side of Christmas.

I like this day as much as the days prior to it. Christmas Eve and Christmas day were such amazing days. We were blessed to share the joy of the celebration in worship several times. I enjoyed those days – I’m not sure I can say I “enjoyed” the preparations, but I was glad to do what could be done to make it all it turned out to be. But before worship yesterday was family time. Christmas morning with my family is one of the highlights of my whole year.

And now I am on the other side of all that. Now I am enjoying the spiritual aroma of the fresh-baked blessings of the season. I am surrounded by new gifts of grace and peace. I love being able to sit here and recall the moments those gifts came to me. For me it is the epitome of the words:  “comfort and joy”.

And then I move into the thoughts of others who don’t know what I know. There are those whose lives are filled more with the smell of sadness and hurt. There are those who are surrounded by emptiness rather than abundance. I am not moved to feel guilty as much as I am moved to feel compassion. My heart doesn’t feel burdened because I am blessed, my spirit just feels burdened to bring hope and peace into the lives of others.

I also sit here thinking of friends. One family in particular, the Bessers. Pam, wife to Robert and mother to Barrett died on Christmas day. She was the associate pastor at the church where Robert is Senior Pastor. For many months they have boldly and publicly lived their journey of faith and hope. And that faith has not diminished even now. It was heart-breaking to think what the day turned out to be for them, but then I read a post to my Facebook wall by a friend of mine who was praying for the Bessers (even though they did not know them). They wrote this:

What a day to enter Heaven! I am so sorry for her family and all of her friends! My prayers go out for comfort.

Thanks Lisa, you said it so well and I think Pam would agree.

Well, I probably need to stop my ramblings. I just hope you know the other side of Christmas. It is a place filled with the blessings of grace – gifts we don’t deserve; a place of love turned outward toward others; a place of hope in a new life and eternal life that comes to us because a baby was born.

Blessed Christmas high-five to you,
Mike

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4 responses to “The Other Side of Christmas

  1. Amen, Lisa said it awesome. But everyday is a great day to meet the Lord in heaven!!!

  2. Thank you for your thoughts, Mike. The Besser message hit home in that about two weeks ago, I was a little down thinking of this being my first Christmas without mom, but then a thought hit me and I smiled a big smile. I said to myself, “Wow, this is mom’s first Christmas in Heaven! How incredible is that going to be?” From that moment on, the sadness left me and was filled with so much happiness for her.

  3. What a great gift you have been given-the gift to convey in words what so many of us feel in our hearts. I am filled with peace and thankfullness tonight.

  4. Yes, losing a loved one at Christmas time always brings thoughts – why at Christmas, but does it really matter – the only way to get through these times is to know that our loved one, my mother, is spending Christmas with Jesus — How awesome is that for her, so it helps with missing her and knowing she is so well received. Thank you again, Mike, i treasure your words – always so good.

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