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Monday, 26 December 2011
Back in the Box
One of the gifts is broken. Back into the box it goes, to be returned via amazon’s excellent-sounding returns policy. We’ll see how that works.
They say the replacement will arrive within the week.
Some relationships are broken. Highlighted at this festive time of year, when loved ones draw near to eat, drink, laugh, and reminisce of Christmases past and people now departed and missed.
But not everyone has somewhere to go. Not everybody has others with whom to reminisce. The meal we served yesterday for those on their own in our local town. Only eleven of ‘them’ amongst 14 of ‘us’ serving, chatting, laughing, enjoying. But not reminiscing. Our histories don’t intertwine. We hear some stories of children abroad who won’t drive to the airport to pick up the elderly mother whose only wish is to see her great grandchildren. We hear stories of children twenty miles away with grandchildren, none of whom seem to visit or invite. We hear stories of dreadful marriages long ago broken down; of grown children who have cut all ties with their mother, now ill and disabled.
We don’t know why. Who was at fault. Who should take the first step back.
We hear stories of people truly on their own – no family left, or at least not in this area.
The chatter is loud. The laughter when Santa comes is genuine, maybe evoking memories in many of times long since past. A wee toddler asks Santa where he’s left his reindeer. ‘On the roof’, he replies.
Gifts are exchanged. Goody bags are distributed. Carols are sung, poems recited, prayers prayed.
And then the drivers return each to his own place. Alone.
Back into the box.
Hopefully, though, not feeling so alone. Hopefully, accepting that others do, after all, care. Hopefully, recognizing that Jesus Christ came out of His ‘box’ to live with us, Immanuel. To bring reconciliation between people and God, and between people and people.
Hopefully, the box is no longer so empty and dark, as the light of Christ illuminates it.