By Chris Denning
Christmas time is one of my favorite times of the year. Not because of decorating or things like that (because I HATE decorating for Christmas, just ask my wife) but because of what it REMINDS me of.
It reminds me of Jesus’ great love for me!
It reminds me of delicious smells and foods!
It reminds me of incredible memories with my friends and family!
However, I think its important for us to remember that the holidays don’t always bring up the best memories for everyone. In fact, there are people ALL AROUND US that are quietly hurting as others are celebrating their favorite time of year. A season of joy and happiness might be a season of dread and pain for them.
There are a million reasons that people might be hurting this time of year. It might be from the loss of a family member or maybe some less-than savory memories that made Christmas a rough time for them. No matter the reason, there are a few things that we can do to bring hope to the hurting this year:
1. Pay attention.
Like I said, many people are hurting this Christmas, and they are most likely doing it QUIETLY. In order for you to see these people, you’re going to have to pay attention. Not in a creepy way or intrusively, but in a way that is sensitive to other’s pain with compassion.
Watch for how people, especially those around you, are responding to the new season. Watch facial expressions, the tone of their voice, and even how they talk about Christmas. If you pay close attention, you’ll be more able to find those who need hope this Christmas.
Once you identify those who are hurting, instead of trying to cram solutions down their throats, simply take the time to listen. Listen to their stories and try to really understand why they are hurting. In fact, learn how to ask sensitive questions that give people the opportunity to open up at their own pace.
Your mom probably told you that we have two ears and only one mouth for a reason. I agree, so lets use them accordingly!
Probably the most impactful thing that you can do is pray. Pray that God would open your eyes to those hurting around you. Pray that God would give you the opportunity to bring hope to those who are hurting. Pray that your own hurting would be relieved this Christmas.
Learn into prayer this holiday season and watch how God brings you opportunities to experience His hope and to give hope to those who are hurting this holiday season.