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Holiday Hearts – 2018-01-24

As we enter the holiday season, our hearts and faces reflect so many aspects of the season:

When we are young, we anticipate presents and Christmas morning: our faces are all anticipation and over-the-top excitement;

When we are young parents there’s a bit of stress to try to create that amazing holiday season for the kids (as if they will notice if it’s not exactly the way we want it), but there’s also that thrill of seeing it again through the eyes of young children.
When we are empty-nesters: there is still a good amount of excitement and preparation as we visit (or skype) with our grandkids and hope for tidbits of time in our children’s busy schedules.

It is the elderly that this post is really about. I see faces watching the phone – hoping someone cares enough to call. I see disappointment at the prospect of another holiday alone. I see precious, amazing face who have poured out so much – often beyond their physical and financial resources – to so many and long just to hear someone say, “I was thinking about you – I love you, appreciate you and miss you!”

I have an uncle in the funeral business. Holidays are the busiest time of year. Our elderly despair of waiting for those calls, those letters, those signs that someone still cares and loves them. I was listening to a book that talked about the increase in suicide as we age.

I am going to take the following verse slightly out of context… because our society is different from that of Jesus’ time where parents lived with their children. In our hustle and bustle of the season – please, please, please remember the most precious gift you can give our patriarchs and matriarchs: the gift of your love and your presence. Whatever your childhood, they had a significant impact on who you are today.

I am not suggesting that you spend time with abusive parents – if your parents are/were violent and/or abusive, perhaps there is someone else in your life who stood in the gap that you can honor at this time.
If not, this might be a good opportunity to meet someone new – it is also a good time to gain inspiration for what kind of person we want to be at that age. I think especially of our veterans hospitals – the significance a card, or a visit makes to them. Search your heart – Let God guide you in what is right for you: there are so many in need this season: homeless, children whose parent(s) are in prison, children in 3rd world countries… the list is huge. We can’t do it all, but we can each do a part.

In what ways will we allow God to use us to be hope for those who have watched hope slip through their fingers?

“I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’

44 “Then they also will answer Him,[d] saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ Matthew 25:42-45