Christmas in Black and White
Yesterday Mike was telling me how he is at a loss for words when asked how his Christmas went. The quintessential “good” or “bad” don’t quite fit, but to explain why would leave the questioner - who in all likelihood was just making polite conversation - with way too much information. Our Christmas was good and bad, glad and sad…black and white.
In part, we had a lot to celebrate over Christmas. It was our first Christmas in our first house, and we enjoyed a quiet Christmas morning before heading over to my mom’s house, where there was good food and even better company. My brother was in town from Kentucky, and my grandfather was looking better than he has in a long time.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about Christmas this year, it’s that the holiday is different when you’re an adult. As a kid, you’re usually sheltered from problems anyway, and the excitement of Christmas overshadows anything else. As an adult, the world does not stop turning for Christ’s birthday. Ongoing conflicts keep going. And the evening of Christmas, we learned that a family friend passed away early that morning – another black-and-white situation. On one hand, she had been diagnosed with a progressive, fatal disease several months ago, and while she could have lived for at least another year, what would her life have been like? She would have slowly lost the ability to function, eventually not being able to move at all. Maybe it’s better for her to be free of pain and with Jesus, whom she loved so very much. On the other hand, who am I to say what is better? Both of her children were planning weddings this year, and now they will take place without her there. Her husband is now facing a life without the woman he loves. It’s things like this that make me wonder what the heck God is thinking.
Now you’ll understand if we hesitate when asked how our Christmas was. It was definitely a black-and-white Christmas full of highs and lows.