You know, family is such an important part of one’s life. My heart goes out to those children and young people who do not have a sense of family. So much is absent from their lives. Going to sleep at night must be terribly lonely and empty. Many times I am reluctant to talk about the closeness of our family for fear I may elicit guilt or depression from the other person. I find it hard to talk abo…ut my children to someone whose children may be in prison, hates them, or never come home to visit. Those situations and lives are painful all around.
But I cannot escape the deep pride and fulfilling joy that comes from our four children. I am not the most wonderful father, but they are the most wonderful and caring children we could ever have. What is funny (in a fulfilling sense) is that when Linda and I talk about something we would now do different (and we do with our grandchildren) they most often don’t even remember it. What is not so fulfilling is that we cannot forget it. Many things they don’t remember still bothers, at times, even haunts us.
When I counsel and hear the sadness in the voices, and see the sadness in the eyes, my pathos goes deep. I often want to hold those parents, many times I weep with those parents. My place is to lead them beyond their pain to forgiveness if necessary and hope which is there for them.
The Christmas story is not only about the Christ child, but it is also about family, family gathered together around the Christ child. We gather around our tree, take the Bible and read Luke 2 (the Christmas story), pray together (children, wives & husband-in-law, our 12 grandchildren, and for the first this year, our great grandchild). Not only all of those, but about six dogs. You should see the row of stockings on our fireplace. But when you can sit and watch all of those that have come into the world through us, laughing, loving, sharing gifts and lives, one could not be more fulfilled in spite of life’s hardness. I tell God often, “I don’t know how we did it, how we got through all those years, or how our children got through all those years, but God you put things in us, and took things out of us, for our children’s benefit and well being.” It was us in partnership with God that molded our family.
It was a dark night through which the Bethlehem star shone through. We have had many dark nights when we could not make sense of life’s happenings, but there was always a light that shone through. Not in our timing, but His timing. Four of those stars are our children. Our lives are better because of them.
I hope your Christmas is around a tree experiencing family in your Christmas.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *