I know that this is a very difficult time of year for many people. It is hard for orphans, who long for the love of a family. It is hard for families experiencing chronic trial, who long for a measure of peace. It is hard for those who are caught in addictions, who long for something of true substance to fill the void in their hearts. It is hard for suicide loss survivors, who long for answers or the opportunity to intervene. It is hard for those who have lost loved ones to other causes, who long for just one more day, one more smile.
There are so many ways to be hurt and wanting, that I could go on and on about how the holidays are difficult.
I believe that funeral directors feel this depth of hurt in their own way at this time of year. These people are wired to empathize with the pain that they encounter. While they have not walked every path of pain, they understand it’s depth and power over people.
This is perhaps why we walk a little more softly, so to speak, at this time of year. We pray for people in our community, that the Valley of the Shadow of Death would be a trip that each can avoid during the Christmas season. While the journey is arduous at any time, walking that valley during the “most wonderful time of the year” is nearly overwhelming.
We know of some who are, indeed, walking that valley right now. Our hearts are heavy for every one of them. Even as they are experiencing the ravages of death upon their bodies, they are doing all that they can to hold on to family traditions and to make memories for their loved ones to hold on to long after they have departed. These “would be” joyful days are tinged with the sadness of knowing that these are the final days.
Yet some who are traversing the valley do so with a bit of anticipation. While this is most definitely, the “most wonderful time of the year” they know that the most wonderful time of their lives is just a bit closer to their reach. Undoubtedly, they have the same sadness as others, but it is buttressed by a sure and certain knowledge that heaven awaits them at the end of their journey.
There are so many ways to be hurt and wanting, but there is one sure way to receive comfort and peace.
No matter what is causing your pain during the sacred season of the Savior’s birth, there is hope and peace for you. This song has touched my heart this season, perhaps there is something in it for you as well.
I would be happy to pray for you during this time. Please feel free to comment about your prayer needs.