Last week was a hard week on so many levels. When Emma phone call came in the wee hours of the morning to say that Happy had just passed away in route to the hospital it just is never easy. As the mom of special needs treasures whose lives have hung in the balance, losing Happy reminds us of just how fragile life is with our little girlies. Of course there is the component of Emma being our daughter. No one ever wants to see their child grieving and hurting while being so very, very far away. And add in that there is not a thing we can do “up close”. Happy being a hydrocephalus baby she had an extra special place in heart. There’s no doubt that Baby Happy was loved, wanted and treasured around the world. She was truly a Gem and losing her hurts big and deep.
Happy and Emma – aren’t her eyelashes just beautiful? Look at her precious face. So very loved.
And although Christmas is almost here and as wonderful as this time of year is for so many, there are others who have walked through devastating loss this past year. Fires that have wiped out entire towns, tornados that have left nothing behind, and so many have lost precious loved ones. One dear friend’s daughter passed away completely unexpectedly while they were all gathered around the table for a celebration dinner and then a couple of months later her husband also passed away. Another friend lost her twin painfully and very unexpectedly. A young man our son deployed with recently lost his life while serving our country and left a wife and children behind as well as his family. Graham and Savannah have friends who attended their church and in a shocking blink of an eye the young husband passed away three weeks ago. And another very precious friend of mine is struggling with many serious health issues on top of having a surgery that didn’t turn out as planned. So much heartache! Seems hard to fathom that some can be having joyous holidays together with friends and family while others are walking in such incredible pain wondering how they will just get through.
In the midst of it all this heartache what can we actually do?
There’s only one thing to do! We have to intentionally choose to be His hands and feet by showing God’s personal love to others and by doing so we share their burdens. It actually probably means passing on the “me” part of Christmas and spending time on the “others” part which is kinda’ easy when we stop to realize what it would really be like to be walking in their shoes.
Loving others has endless possibilities….like inviting a family for Christmas or New Years who has lost someone just to change things up in their world, baking something for someone hurting and taking it to them with a thoughtful note, a gift card to buy a meal for a family struggling, having a single or family over for a game night, meeting a friend for coffee to let them know you care, watching someone’s kids so they can shop or just relax, or shopping for a friend who has just lost someone and can’t even think, buying spa-time for a grieving family and throwing babysitting in too – so many options!
It reminds me of this verse in Galatians 6:2
“Bear one another’s burdens and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.…”
The Lord has graciously placed people in our paths so that we could be His hands and feet ministering to all the broken hearts. And isn’t that what Christmas is really all about? When we were broken and troubled, God sent His only Son, as a free gift for all who would receive Him, to heal our own lives.