I was planning on posting something different today, but I'm following my heart on this one.
I posted the following on Facebook earlier today and it seems to have resinated with a lot of people, so I'm reposting it here. Someone (maybe you) might need to read this today.
I'm in Starbucks. One woman greets another as they pass. One of the women breaks down crying, delivering sad news to her friend.
I'm reminded once again.
As we walk around this Christmas season, there are people who are doing their best to hold it all together. Every so often, the smiling exterior cracks, as they break down to cry.
It's right there behind their eyes. You might be reading this, tearing up because I just described you. You are carrying the hurt with you always, and can feel invisible.
I see you. You are loved. And not to get all "churchy" - but this season is for you - Christmas. The season when God came to Earth in the form of a little baby. Immanuel means "God with us". He's with you in your brokenness, in your pain, in your sorrow. You are not alone.
Most days I'm just as guilty as anyone of rushing around, not dialed in to those around me. There's stuff to get done. Hurry pushes me along. And I miss those who are hurting right in front of me. And the Christmas season usually just amps things up even more.
What if we were more intentional about looking and seeing the people right in front of us?
We might just be the answer to someone's prayer. A shoulder to cry on. A helping hand. Even a moment of acknowledging someone else's pain. Entering it for a few moments in time. It just might make all the difference.
The thing is, we all know that when we've been in that dark hurting place, what a lifeline it was when people around us cared for us. Really cared. What happens to those who don't have close friends or family? Or those who stuff their emotions because they were taught that you just don't share them with others. The silent suffering.
I found myself praying today "God, give me eyes to see those who are hurting. And if you want, use me to bring some hope, even if it's just for a moment."
Even if you're not the praying kind, may I challenge you to take a moment out and look around you for someone who is hurting?