This week I was invited to participate on a radio show sponsored by the Islamic Medical Association on coping with stress during the holiday period. Every time I turn on my car radio, I am bombarded with holiday jingles that broadcast messages that say things like: 'summer days are happy days' or ' it's a time to relax and celebrate'. The media has certainly carved a skewed vision of Christmas.
Gary, divorced for three years and having changed cities and jobs was looking forward to one week with his 10 year old son. He tells me that he prefers to work in December. In his mind, the days will then be fuller and he would have less time to focus on his losses and loneliness. Sandra feels very much the same. It's her first Christmas alone since the death of her husband of 21 years. She tells me that she wants a quiet day away from any more words of comfort from friends and relatives - nothing can make her feel better this Christmas! My list of patients and their holiday laments is fairly endless.
Yet I know that it is never in God's heart to let anyone suffer alone at this or any time of year. Whether we are alone or sitting silently in family gatherings - there is a comforting presence nearby. God loves his people and hurts with them.
- Today reconnect with God’s love for you by whispering a prayer and tap into the peace the passes all human understanding