It’s amazing the things you see around Christmastime. Yoda fighting Santa on someone’s front lawn (okay, I didn’t see that in real life but I did see a photo on Facebook), people walking around with reindeer antlers, cars with reindeer antlers, gifts fitting more in the Weird and Wacky category than useful or hoped for (a toilet piano??? Really???), houses lit up with so many lights you don’t know where to look first, shop front windows you could stare at all day and still not find all the secrets, foods like turducken (has anyone tried this??? I haven’t yet been game…), and the list goes on.
One thing I didn’t think I’d see was a church, all decorated in Christmas lights and decorations, with John 11:35 on their billboard. Two words. “Jesus wept.” I know it’s a nice short verse and doesn’t take too long to put up but Jesus wept? Not exactly going with the joy of Christmas here, are we? I felt like reminding them that it was Christmas.
Only straight after that thought, instantly came another.
Maybe that’s exactly what some people need to hear this Christmas. Maybe even a lot of people. Maybe even me.
Christmas is about joy and hope and celebrating but, for many people, it’s also a time of tears and pain.
Someone’s missing from their table this year.
Their heart is breaking because they can’t give their child a simple gift under the tree.
They’re tired or sick and wondering where the strength will come to meet all the expectations everyone has.
They’re all alone.
They just found out that this might be the last Christmas with a loved one because of a diagnosis they were really hoping wouldn’t come.
Christmas brings memories they’d rather be forgotten.
They’re putting on a smile but crying inside. Maybe even outside. Christmas is all just too much.
They’re weeping. But they’re not alone.
No, it’s not the happy, inspirational, cheer-filled Christmas verse I would have chosen but it’s perfect. A church, reminding those who weep – especially at Christmas – that they don’t weep alone.
If you’re one of the ones struggling this Christmas, please know you’re not alone. Christmas isn’t about the angels and singing and light shows and finding the perfect gift. It’s about God, seeing us in our brokenness and tears and knowing He couldn’t let us weep alone a single moment longer. It’s about Him coming down to sit beside us and hold us as we hurt.
Maybe, for you, it’s a Different Kind of Christmas this year. That’s okay. It’s okay to weep. You’re not alone.