A Brief Letter to the Christmas Have-Nots

Dear Friend,

I’m sorry. I’m sorry that the holidays end up reminding you more of the world’s brokenness than its beauty. Or perhaps better said, that your little piece of the world is more brokenness than beauty. I’m sorry that social media just makes you feel more isolated and alone when you see the spouses, children, and homes that you don’t have. Maybe you once had them and lost them; maybe you never had them at all. But either way, it hurts.

I’m sorry that there’s so much injustice and inequity in the world. That doing the right things and making wise choices didn’t always lead to good outcomes for you, while you see those who made poor choices end up with great outcomes. Life in a fallen world doesn’t play by the “rules,” and I’m sorry.

I’m sorry that you’ve hoped and prayed for children for years, but you still don’t have them. I’m sorry that you’ve hoped and prayed for marriage for years, but you still don’t have a spouse. I’m sorry that you work really hard, but you still can’t afford a house. I’m sorry that you long for friends, but they seem really hard to find. I’m sorry if you currently have those things and they bring more pain than joy. I’m sorry that you maybe had those things and lost them, and you wonder if you’ll ever feel ok or be happy again.

You’re not the only one. Truly. I know it feels like you are. And in your immediate circle of friends and acquaintances, you might be the only one. But there are many walking a road similar to yours, even if you don’t know them or see them and social media makes it seem like they’re non-existent.

To the sad, the depressed, the lonely, the confused, the poor, the brokenhearted and heavy-laden, Jesus came. He came to restore shalom to a world destroyed by sin, and in these “dark streets shineth the everlasting light.” He is our only hope, and only in Him are the shattered pieces of creation refashioned into a mosaic of beauty, truth, and goodness. The next time He comes to earth, He’s bringing this kingdom with Him. And all will be made right when He appears. So run to Him, walk to Him, or crawl to Him.

“O Christ, save me from the pain of holidays and special days! Lead me, O Lord, through this layered confusion of celebration and lament, of things present, and things past. Let me make of this day a new thing. Though holidays may be hard days, O God, by the movement of your mercies may they also become holy days, teaching me again and again to entrust to you my many griefs, as often as these unavoidable days uncover and reveal them. Indeed let me learn, year by year, O Lord, how this long pain might be transformed into the groanings of a faith actively yearning toward a glorious and certain resurrection.” – Every Moment Holy, Volume 2, pages 287-289.

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