Sarah and I loved to decorate for Christmas. Our first Christmas together we had one Christmas tree as most sane people do. Over the years we kept adding trees throughout our home. Eventually, we had a tree in every room including the bathrooms and laundry room. Each tree had a unique theme and Sarah’s artistry made it magical. Once we finished the inside decorating we extended the magic to the outside. TOGETHER !
This past year Our Lord called Sarah to her eternal home. No more decorating together. So, my anguish began. Did I want to decorate this year? Why? What would be the purpose? Some days I would convince myself to decorate. The next day I would talk myself out of it. Yes. No. Maybe. This vacillation back and forth went on for about a month. One morning I woke up and emphatically told myself—NOT THIS YEAR.
So, I started out that morning as I do every morning. I sat down with a cup of coffee and I read God’s Word. I went to my bookmark so I could continue the passage I was studying the day before. My Bible started to slip out of my hands and the bookmark dropped to the floor. I recovered the Bible, but it was now open to a different Book of the Bible than I was studying. A sign? Who was I not to follow where God was leading me? I started to read Matthew 14. This is where Herod kills John the Baptist to fulfill a vow he made to his wife’s daughter for a dance that pleased him. He would give her anything she wanted. She wanted John the Baptist’s head on a tray.
Where was God leading me? I continued to read the next verses. John’s disciples came for his body, buried it and then went and told Jesus what had happened. Can you imagine the pain and anguish Jesus experienced when He heard this news? This was the man who had baptized Jesus. What did Jesus do? He withdrew to a solitary place as He always did so He could deal with his pain. I felt Jesus’ pain. Sometimes I needed to deal with the pain of Sarah’s death alone.
So……………………, where was this leading me? I continued to read God’s Word. Huge crowds followed Jesus. He fed them. He did not dwell on His grief, but returned to the ministry He came to do. I realized that God was telling me it was OK to grieve, but we are here to spread His Good News and to serve others in His Name.
I had my answer. I would decorate for Christmas. I will not decorate as much as Sarah and I usually did. There are certain decorations it will be too painful to put up. Sarah’s teddy bear tree is an example. We put it up in our bedroom and used teddy bears we collected over the years as the ornaments. She loved that tree and her eyes would sparkle when she saw it. Even the last Christmas she was with me. But, I would decorate.
Maybe, in my small way, I could bring Joy to others as they viewed the lights. I know people have told me how much they enjoy seeing the lights and decorations. Hopefully, it will give someone a short respite from their troubles or pain so they can focus on their Blessings. Especially, the Blessing of Jesus’ birth.
So, I hope my humble decorations give you some Joy. If they do, could you please honk your horn in remembrance of Sarah? And as Psalm 98: 4-6 says, “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music; make music to the Lord with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing, with trumpets AND THE BLAST OF THE RAM’S HORN–shout for joy before the Lord, the King. (NIV).
MERRY CHRISTMAS !!! May Our Lord Bless You With HIS GRACE this Christmas and in the New Year.