Jean Croyle

Jeannie Croyle

There has not been one Christmas in my life where I didn’t find myself weeping – over the ornaments depicting pets recently departed, to memories of how “Mom used to make this,” to thoughts of friends gone too young, and so on.

Seems the birth of our Savior softens the heart and makes one reflect on the sorrows of life as well as all the holiday fanfare.

This year in particular is a tough one for most of us. We are concerned about catching and being ill over a pandemic that is growing at an alarming rate. Families are canceling get-togethers and church services in some sanctuaries are available only online or outside.

Everyone who is out and about is masked, even gloved, and only eyes are visible. The calling out of “Stay safe,” has replaced “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays.”

Recovering from COVID-19 as I am means no Christmas shopping in stores I enjoy or meeting friends for lunch.

It does not seem particularly joyous or given to hearty laughter. Decorating the house feels like aerobics to my worn-out body.

Yet ...

The birth of Christ has not changed its significance. Seeing the humble surroundings of the babe who would grow and be the only resurrected Savior in the world is worth everything.

All the rest – the shopping, the parties, the meals – all of it is temporary.

Being in Christ and him living in me is the most amazing part of my existence.

So, I will cry when I see the ornament that says our late pup’s name – “Molly” – and I will be tearful for all the people and pets and years gone too soon.

I will comb through family recipes and be sad recalling Mom’s special touch, and will feel my senior years as I watch kids on television being entranced by holiday windows in New York. It is all so heart-wrenching!

And with it all is the incredible joy that Jesus came to save humanity and that our lives don’t end on planet earth.

Someday we will be in glorious form and eternally in Christ’s presence. The grief mixes with the joy, and the heartache gives way to the smile.

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