As I sat down to write this Christmas-themed post, I read the news about the school shooting in Connecticut. It’s only been a few hours since it began and people everywhere are grieving. In such a happy, magical time of year, there is an entire community in agony over their loss. The country has turned their eyes, if only for a few moments, away from Christmas preparation and onto a hurting town.
I know people are hugging their children tighter tonight. I know many will reevaluate their “bad day” or their stressful to-do list and be thankful for the blessings they have. Many of us just want do something–a few more Facebook updates about how horrible it is? some money sent to the community? a prayer before bed?
How can we take the light of Christmas and shine it during a dark time in these families’ life? It seems too big, too much and too hard. And it is too hard to do something for an entire town affected by tragedy. Instead, we can do what my pastor encourages us to do in face of tragedy, sadness and overwhelming loss, “do for one what you wish you could do for all.”
I wish I could comfort the moms without their kindergartners tonight. I wish I could talk to the boys and girls fearful of going to bed tonight.
I wish I could provide jobs for women forced into prostitution around the world.
I wish I could find homes for abandoned children.
I wish I could give food to a starving country.
Instead of being overwhelmed with the need and darkness of these situations, we can take a small step and make the difference in the life of just one person.
We can seek out a local orphanage and ask what they need for Christmas–decorations? a good meal? stockings for all the kids?
We can buy a bag made by a woman rescued from sex-trafficking and given new life with a new trade.
We can find a family who is experiencing their first Christmas without a loved one and send them a special gift or encouragement.
We can sponsor a child in another country who would not go to school without our support.
We can pack a shoebox full of gifts for a child who won’t get a Christmas present.
We can support a local organization who feeds hungry people this Christmas–with donations or volunteer hours.
We can provide Christmas for a family with a loved one in prison.
We can pray for the broken-hearted to feel God close to them.
The darkness in this world can seem overwhelming. But light overcomes darkness. The very first Christmas was about this same thing–a baby born into a dark stable, a dark world who came to bring light, to be light to the whole world.
This Christmas, if you are overcome or saddened by the darkness around you, will you seek out light? Will you be the light for someone else? Knowing you can’t change the entire world, but maybe you can change the world for just one person?
How do you make Christmas brighter each year?
|Amanda is a stay-at-home mom of two who blogs at OhAmanda.com. In her former life, Amanda was a Children’s Pastor — overseeing, organizing and developing ministry for kids in nursery through middle school, but now that she is a mom, her “skills” are used up on her kids!|