The Ornament

2 Corinthians 1:3-5

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.  For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.

Thought for the Day: Remember with a tear, and a smile  

“Hi Donna!  I think of your mom every Christmas when we decorate our tree.  She gave us this Hallmark ornament.  The light alternates between inside the house and the light on the porch.  It is one of my favorites!  It has the year and says ‘Our First Christmas’”.  My immediate reaction to reading this message from my first cousin was tears forming in my eyes.  As I do every year during the Christmas Holidays, I think a lot about my parents, brothers, and first husband who are not with me.  On my personal Christmas tree, I have ornaments that remind me of each one.  I also have an “Our First Christmas” ornament given to my husband and me by my Mama on our first Christmas, I have Christmas ornaments made by my brothers and me when we were children, I have Christmas ornaments given to my Daddy by many of his church members, and I have ornaments that were special to my first husband and me.  It should come as no surprise to me that tears form as I realize my Mama touched others with her special ornaments given especially to them.  That is a very special thought as I know my Mama touched so many with her special and unusual gifts.

The Christmas Season comes each year bringing tears and smiles to me.  As I unwrap each ornament and decoration, my heart fills with a tiny bit of sadness as I realize how many are no longer with me but it fills even more with gladness as I remember each in special ways.  This is a very difficult time of year for so many as family members are remembered.  There is a belief with many that after the loss of a loved one that the grieving person should “be back to normal” in a “proper” amount of time.  To those who are grieving the loss of loved ones after a year, or two, or twenty, the pain still comes and it is okay.  But, to those who are grieving, remembering loved ones in special precious ways also helps.  Yes, tears come as ornaments are placed on the Christmas tree, memories flood our “eyes” as we think of those so special to us, and tenderness returns for a moment.  But, then, we realize that those memories bring those we love back to us if only for a moment to smile with and celebrate life with.  And, as we celebrate their lives, we celebrate that one day we will be back with them to feel their arms around us as they welcome us home.

Prayer:  Father God, thank you for the memories, those memories that flood our hearts when we remember loved ones.  Help us get through the hard times of the year to remember with tears but also with smiles.  Help those who are watching friends in their grief to know what to do for them.  Be with us, God, and bring us through.  Amen.

Prayer Focus:  Those grieving during the Christmas Season

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