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About the Writer:

As a wife, mother, daughter, friend and believer, Jo explores the work of God in all her roles and situations. With a deep hunger to learn more about the ways of the Lord, Jo conveys the truths she's learned through vivid descriptions and personal stories. Her love of Jesus carries her and her writing expresses her deepest love.


Different Could Be the Best Gift of All

By Jo Ludwig

Subject: “When Death Comes for Christmas.”

Grief and the Holiday Season

Pain is typically an unwelcome guest year-round, but particularly troublesome in December.

I’m getting grieving for Christmas.

Mommy and families are sad.

I’m getting grieving for Christmas,

And sometimes that just feels bad.

This trite yet authentic rewrite of the “I’m Getting Nothing for Christmas” tune that is an old time favorite for many is the song playing in many hearts this time of year. Mine is singing it this year.

I thought I was ready. Are we ever ready? The pains of life meet us at a place so deep within that often when they finally surface the sense is that your organs are bleeding from the inside out. I feel that way today.

Last year dad was still here Christmas day but we all knew he probably would not be this year. God, as only God can do, was starting our preparation for our road to Calvary to give my daddy back. Daddy is spending Christmas with Jesus this year, in the heavenly banquet room. We rejoice for Daddy and bleed for ourselves. The “hole” remains on our side.

Jesus’ mother knew the “hole”, too. She watched the unthinkable for a mother. Her heart melded with his as she watched his torture and agonizing at Calvary. She bleeds from the inside out.

For those of us dealing with fresh grief this December I offer a thought. The question I am having the most difficulty battling as I walk this road this year is the “what do I do with this pain”? While the rest of the world seems to be holly-jollying and joyful! The paradoxical nature of this chasm of reality hurts. I am left confused and torn. Maybe you are too? So, then, what do we do, my friend?

My hope for us all is that we join Mary’s heart. Mary ran with Jesus right into his pain with him. She took the risk to be courageous and love in the worst of circumstances. We can too. We can “compassionate” ourselves by entering into the heart of our pain, if we are willing to spend time with it. Maybe we will grow or change or be spiritually transformed in some way we would least expect. It is Christmas, after all. Perhaps entering the pain will find us holding a treasure this Christmas we never expected but have hoped for and needed.

I am willing to give it a try. I do not know what will happen. I do know our God, though, and perhaps I can allow myself to trust that enough to believe I do not want to let this opportunity pass me by. It will be a different Christmas. Different could be the best gift of all! May it be so! Amen!

Copyright © December 19, 2005 – Jo Ludwig. All rights reserved.


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