This month was very difficult for many people who are still reeling from a loss this past year. The crippling hurt caused by the absence of a loved one can cloud holiday gatherings and even dim the desire to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
Poet Ann Weems has written:
Some of us walk into Advent
tethered to our unresolved yesterdays,
the pain still stabbing,
the hurt still throbbing.
It’s not that we don’t know better;
it’s just that we can’t stand up
anymore by ourselves.
On the way to Bethlehem,
will you give us a hand?
In Romans 12:9-21, Paul gives ways to express practical Christianity in our relationships. One seems especially needed at this time of year: “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep” (v.15). We can “give a hand” to grieving friends and family by understanding their sorrow and not expecting them to “get over it” in time to celebrate the holidays. We can freely mention the name of the person whose death has brought such desolation and then share a fond memory. We can be quiet, listen, and pray for God’s help.
Only God can heal the deep wounds of the heart, but we can lend a hand. — David C. McCasland
If I can help some wounded heart,
If I can by my love impart
Some blessing that will help more now—
Lord, just show me how. —Brandt
No one is strong enough to bear his burdens alone.