The Mourning in the Merry

It’s Christmas morning and no one is awake yet.

It’s the perfect time to pick up the phone and call my grandmother.

So this morning, my heart hurts.

Every Christmas. Every holiday. I pick up the phone to call her.  It’s my assignment. It’s my job.

Then I’m responsible for passing the phone around to everyone else so that she and my grandfather can talk to everyone.

So this Christmas morning, I feel twinges of physical pain because this Christmas, when I call, she won’t be picking up the phone.

Yes.  I will still call my grandfather and everyone will pass the phone and we will all be glad to hear his voice.

We will all wish we could be closer.

But we will all also miss hearing her voice as well.

Sometimes, there is mourning in the midst of the merry.

There will be laughter today.  Kids squealing with joy. There will be lots of hugs exchanged and catching up with people that I love. There will be good food eaten and memories made. There will be lots of the things that are just the same as they are every year.

All except one.

I will feel the mourning in the midst of the merry.

I wonder if when Jesus was born, he missed His father.

I wonder if he felt off balance or off kilter because he exchanged the glorious singing of the angels for the soft sounds of sheep.

I wonder if he had immediate grief in His heart as the love He has for mankind was mixed with mourning of a known difficult and short life and awareness of a painful and hard death.

I wonder if Christmas day – the day that Christ was born –  was a day of mourning too.

I wonder of Mary wished that her mother was there to help her deliver her new baby.

I wonder of she was saddened at her station in life. Did she wish that she had more to give her new son than a birth in a manger?

I wonder if she mourned the presence of her friends. Did she feel alone? Did she feel lost in a big world that seemed not to see her?

I wonder if Christmas day –  the day that Mary had her baby – was a day of mourning too.

I wonder if Christmas day – your day where you sit right now reading this post – is a day of mourning.

I wonder if you are lamenting another Christmas that you are spending not quite the way you thought.

I wonder if you are grieving because someone you love is not here.

I wonder if you are sad because you feel alone or your life is not quite where you’d like it to be.

I wonder if you feel twists or twinges in your heart and the notes from  “Joy to the World” aren’t ringing true anywhere in the vicinity of your life.

I wonder.

Sometimes there is mourning in the midst of the merry.

And I don’t have an answer.

I don’t have anything monumental to say to get rid of the heart hurts that you may have today.

But I do know that if you keep going mourning can TURN into merry.

I know that there was glory waiting for Jesus after that agony of the cross.

I know that  Mary got to watch her son live the only perfect life in history.  Any mother would love to see her children live their lives well.

And I know that while I miss my grandmother, I will see her again one day.

You will not always be in this place.

You will not always feel the same intensity of hurt, pain, or sadness.

You will not always feel lonely.

Sometimes there is mourning.  But the merry is still happening.

Walk through the mourning this morning.  Don’t deny it. Be real to where you stand.

But don’t miss the merry.

That message is not just for you.  It’s for me too.

As soon as I press “send” for this blog post, I’m going to make that call to my grandfather,  Two Daddy. 

Even while I’m sure he is yet mourning his beloved, I know our call will help put some merry in his midst on this Christmas day.

Merry Christmas everybody.


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