This year I'm acutely aware of the duality of Christmas. I have some dear friends who are bringing home their LONG AWAITED adopted son tomorrow [!!!], and other friends who are filled with Christmas joy [new babies, marriages, relationships, or just a great year of life!]. I also have other friends who are experiencing their darkest holiday season: death, infertility, relationship destruction, away from those they love... This is the most dreaded time of the year...the song got it wrong for them. And they wish they could hibernate for 6 weeks until this season is over and the decorations have been put in storage. I'm living somewhere in between those worlds most days.
But there must be some hope and perspective in those dark places. C.S. Lewis says, "Why must holy places be dark places?" So darkness and holiness go together?!?! Apparently. They have for me and others I love. It's interesting that God's not afraid of the darkness. He's not adverse to it even. Stark contrast: dark places are holy, blameless, divine, sacred places to God.
My best childhood friend is mourning a miscarriage this Christmas, but her Christmas letter started with this verse: Psalm 118:5
Freedom. Holiness. Those are descriptors of Christmas. So perhaps pain and Christmas have more in common with each other than a commercial Christmas leads us to believe!?!?
May your heart be tender toward those who are in dark places.
And may you find the ultimate Life this season.