Christmas: A Season of Bitter and Sweet

20141221-220655.jpgHow can all that’s wrapped up in one day be such a mix of bitter and sweet? The morning woke with a sea of aqua, pink and orange shining through the starkness of the leafless trees.

Beautiful. I was thankful to witness it.

This week held hugs from my elementary students and so many well-wishes for the Christmas holiday, my heart was full. Almost alternately over and over again, this sweet-filled space was traded with news of someone else hurting–funerals to plan, impending death, terrible sickness, job loss, worry, fear, loneliness during this time of family and friends gathered together.

Heartbreaking. Emotionally, it was quite the roller coaster ride, joyful tears welling up, then those of pain for so many struggling to find peace during this season.

Bitter and sweet, tough and beautiful. One particular day was full of both, and all I wanted to do was sit with my head in my hands and cry for all of it. Lovely people, brave and strong, shared their fears and sorrow, yet appreciated and selflessly gave to others. The Christmas season brings that out in us. Love does that. Jesus did that.

Grateful for all that day brought, still, the richness and toughness of it left me reeling. This is what life is over and over–a jagged edge that cuts deep, a soft landing place when the pain comes. It is a breaking forth of emotions for lives in the starkness of struggle and then the reminder of the beauty of love and community in the very next breath.



No matter your situation, may your Christmas be filled with hope. After all, we are here for one another.


4 thoughts on “Christmas: A Season of Bitter and Sweet”

  1. Life does that to us… Great love leads to great joy but also great sorrow. We could avoid the sorrow if we run from love but what kind of life would that be?? We are on this journey and to journey with those you love through love and through sorrow magnifies that love and even the hard becomes blessed.


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