My Christmas memories are fresh on my mind, MOMents of life shared with my hubby and children dance through my head swaying merrily to the sound of shared laughter. Accompanied by the faint sound of Elvis singing Blue Christmas in the background.
Blue Christmas… “I’ll have a blue Christmas without you.” Thoughts of family and friends who have lost loved ones swirl through my mind alongside my own joyful memories. Throughout the Christmas revelry I found myself lingering on thoughts of those who’s Christmases were looking very different this year.
As hubby lugged out the Christmas decorations I thought of my sister-in-law who, this year, will have no hubby to do the lugging. As my children and I slowly decorated the tree and I recalled (out loud) the origin of each ornament, I contemplated the silence in the same procedure carried out by a family who has no mother’s voice this year. What mournful sounds must tree decorating have held for those families?
I thought of military families who either have lost loved ones, or are separated from loved ones and wondered if merry laughter was a sought after commodity around their Christmas celebrations this year.
C.S. Lewis shared his gut wrenching thoughts on death in his book, A Grief Observed, as he wrestled with God over his loss.
“Where is God?…Go to him when your need is desperate, when all other help is in vain, and what do you find? A door slammed in your face.”
While his thoughts are raw and no doubt accurate, it causes me to consider that though “time heals all wounds” truly the wound of death is the most severe.
Consider then how important the contemplation of after death must be to each of us. You are going to die, that much is certain. But what of your existence after death?
I believe to my core, because of what I have seen, experienced and read in the word of God that I will, without a doubt, have an eternity with the creator of the universe. I know the same is true of my hubby and children. We will spend forever together and the laughter and joy surrounding our existence will be unending as we will experience pure love – for that is what God is.
The naysayers of this world try to negate the love that is God by asking, “Why is there so much pain and debauchery if there is a God?” Those things do not exist because there is a God, they exist because there is man…you and me.
To put eternity in it’s most basic form – the peace and pure love we long for here on earth we will have in eternity. The ability to have peace and experience pure love while here on earth, in spite of our circumstances, is what allows a believer to experience a Christmas filled with hope in spite of the silence left behind by those we love who have died.
If C.S. Lewis can wrestle with understanding God’s love in the midst of death, so too can we. However, the assurance of eternity gives us hope, the knowledge that our separation is temporary and our togetherness is forever.
If you want that same assurance allow me to introduce you to hope.