Sunday, 24 December 2017

Dreading Christmas? Take heart!

Christmas is not always an easy time of year. Perhaps you feel sad and lonely. Maybe you think that no one feels as bad as you. But that’s actually not true. There is always someone in the world going through a tough time. Fact is, life is peppered with good times and bad times. The trick is to keep going when things are at their most bleak. When I feel I cannot go on I ask God to please hold me in the palm of His hand. And He always does!

I found my diary from last Christmas Day which read, “There was a gaping Mum-shaped hole in the day. Saddest Christmas ever. One of the saddest days of my life.” It’s just over a year now since we lost her and though it is getting a little easier Christmas will just not be the same without her. But, as a Christian I am celebrating the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ.

I have just come back from church and feel lifted up by the service. The church was packed and the line for Holy Communion a joy to see. Before Mass the priest put the figure of baby Jesus into the crib and blessed it and everyone sang carols. So I have started my Christmas celebrations with my focus on Christ and His birthday. And am now looking forward to a day with the family tomorrow.

Mum was very fond of poetry. Yesterday I came across one of her favourite books. It is an old volume called Escaped As A Bird, with verses from the Christian Poetry Club at the Oshima Leprosy Hospital in Japan. (From 1907 until 1996 those with leprosy in Japan were forced to live in such places.) Intrigued, I read the intro which includes these words, “Instead of being broken on the anvil of pain, suffering and deformity, these suffers have found faith, peace and joy under the ministry of Christian love…”

Here is a poem by a patient called Yamamoto

The wireless brings us songs of Christmas praise

From far and near;

And listening we are one with you today,

Friends, everywhere!

I take heart from those brave words. I hope you do too.

Wishing you a Happy and Holy Christmas.

Teresa x