Depression, the silent killer. Depression, many times goes unnoticed, until out of desperation, suicide seems the only option to escape the misery, and suddenly everyone wonders why? What happened? They appeared so happy! All too often we see the surface of others, disconnected with the true heart aches of another. “How are you today?” “Oh, I’m fine. How are you?” “Just great, thank you.”
Do we take the time to really understand, to listen, to observe facial features, are we concerned with the true needs of others? It is so much easier to just answer quickly, go on our merry way because, “I have things to do.” And it is true, we all lead very busy lives, we all have our pain, we all go through suffering to some degree, we don’t need to tell everyone our darkest secrets.
Ponder this, are you living authentically, true to yourself? Have you surrounded yourself with a few best friends? Friends you know you will be there for, and friends who will be there for you? Friends, no matter the stripes and scars, the birthing pains of fulfilling new dreams, giving encouraging words at the perfect time in one another’s life? If you have friends like this, and I hope you do, treat them with all the love, respect, patience, and virtue, you too hope to receive in return.
I am constantly learning, growing, discovering who I was created to be. Watching as my life hangs in the balances of life, like a dear friend of mine said, we exist on a pendulum. Sometimes soaring high, then lulling in a low, then swinging high again. At times just a gentle movement in the breeze. At other times the raging storm pounding on a boat lost at sea. And look, there we are now, the kite soaring high, tethered lovingly by the friends you can call your own, your anchors. Those who offer wise counsel through a heart of love, guidance in times of deep hurt, joy and laughter or a joke at a perfect time.
The Christmas holidays, the festivities, the joy of the Birth of a Savior, birthed into a world because of the sin, the suffering, the darkness, offering a new way, redemption. Christmas, “The most wonderful time of the year.” “The most magical season of all!” All the beautiful Christmas carols, all of the families drawing near, all the joys on little faces knowing “Santa Clause is coming to town!” The decorations and lights, the presents to wrap, the cookies to bake, and sitting with loved ones around a crackling fire, sipping eggnog, drinking spiced cider!! I love it all, watching the sparkling eyes of my children on Christmas morning, watching the snowflakes fall, all of this in combination to make the perfect day for so many!
Just for a moment, let’s take time in the midst of our holiday cheer and preparations to notice that one who has been “left out in the cold” this holiday season. Those who have lost a loved one at this same time in previous years, whose spouse is on the battlefield, the bully at school who is really hurting inside and longing for an authentic friend. The financial burdens of others, those living on the streets, women or children suffering in silence behind closed doors, the widow.
What is Christmas really about? Are you a “There is no room at the inn” kind of person? Have you left others out in the cold so you can enjoy your holidays the way you have perfectly planned? Or are you the “Make room for Him in the inn” kind of person. Don’t miss out on being the Angel to someone in need this holiday season.
Above all, fill your home with faith, hope, and love. Gather others around you who may feel neglected this joyous season, and give them the hope you know so well. Speak life into the world around you, bring joy to others, live in peace. Just as our Savior has done for us.