I received this from a friend last week. Not only did it capture my heart, but it helped me understand how Christmas, “the most wonderful time of the year,” can be difficult for those who grieve.
Grief, I’ve learned, is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give but cannot. All of that unspent love gathers in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in the hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go. (Jamie Anderson)
Though the joys of Christmas surround us this season with festive parties, beautiful presents, glossy cards and uplifting concerts, many in our midst experience more grief this month than any other time of the year; grief in a variety of ways.
I recently spoke with a person who commented on how much renewed life she is experiencing through the daily, Old Testament readings Christ Lutheran has been doing since September. She realized that she had been grieving — for a very long time.
Grief from not having the ideal marriage,
Grief from difficulties with children,
Grief from not having the “perfect” life,
Grief from feeling overwhelmed at Christmas.
Instead of joy, love, peace and hope — all the feelings she was supposed to have this season — she was experiencing grief. That lump that she was feeling in her throat this month was not just anxiety or feeling overwhelmed, but it was grief that came from love.
Love for what she held dearest to her heart,
Love for what was missing in her life,
Love for the ideal family she desired,
Love for the peace of Christmas.
She told me that the daily Bible readings have been a lifeline for her by understanding God’s perfect love that comes to us in a baby born in the most unexpected place, born into a world that was far from perfect, like her life.
This Christmas, love is about God’s grief for the world that He held dearest to His heart, for a world that was less perfect. And God comes...with a lump in His throat...and a cry in His voice saying:
I understand your grief
I hold your emptiness
I catch your tear.
I Love You, imperfect and all.