OH BOY… Let me tell ya,
I am always up and down when it comes to celebrating holidays. I’m sure at one time I was an eager little child always looking forward to celebrating. In fact I can even say in college I always loved the days off that came out of various holiday seasons.
However that all changed and I remember when/why like it was yesterday.
I was the lead pastor of a church several years back. For churches certain holidays are big deals. It was Christmas time. Much like now we were planning our Christmas Eve service.
I remember this one lady who, while very faithful at serving the church in any way we would ask, was noticeably missing in action. When I caught up with her she didn’t seem her normal self. I assumed she was having a bad day, week, month even and brushed it off. (rookie mistake btw)
A few days later after seeing her like this yet again I began to reflect on other times in which I saw her like this, Mother’s Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving… I couldn’t believe how blind I had been.
The next time I saw her I simply asked how she was doing.
While that was the answer I received that was not the truth. I asked again, How are you really doing?
Tears began to fall and my heart started to listen. She had lost her husband and son. She hated mothers day because it reminded her of whom she had lost. She hated holidays because she, after years of crying, now sat angry. Feeling disconnected and anything but joyful.
It was this moment that helped me grasp a bit of her pain. While I love holidays I think we forget this isn’t’ a wonderful time for everyone. While some spend until their hearts are content many are reminded that they cannot keep up in the rat race. While some feast like royalty many find themselves forgetting when their last meal was.
Now I am not saying we should nix the whole thing. However I am saying that I think it would help if we could be a bit more sensitive to others around us. Truthfully I know many people who during holidays fake being joyful as to mask the pain they have…
There are great reasons to celebrate and I am an advocate of doing so however I am forever grateful for my encounters with people like the woman I spoke of as they have help me gain another perspective on what these moments in our lives really mean.