For some, the holiday season is full of pain.
The pain of loss.
The pain of traditions that once were that won’t be anymore.
The pain of memories that will never be made.
The pain of longing for something that never was.
For some, it’s not the happiest time of the year.
This is the time when people go into hiding simply because they cannot deal with those who don’t understand what they’re going through, those who simply offer platitudes, and those that, for some unknown reason, make their pain worse by being completely insensitive to it.
Those folks are like chess playing pigeons…
Yet there is a sacredness in pain.
One of my favorite bible stories is of Jesus heading to Lazarus’ home town before he resurrects him.
When someone comes to Jesus and says Lazarus is in a bad way, instead of rushing to be by his family’s side, Jesus lollygags his way there. Then, when he does show up, he’s like a chess playing pigeon, coming into town like a bull in a china shop, and completely stomps all over what is going on right in front of him. It isn’t until he realizes the sacredness of the pain that the family, and the entire town, is in that he finally connects with them and they hear what he has to say.
One of my favorite pieces of scripture is also the shortest… “Jesus wept.”
Even though he knew how the story ended, he knew what was coming next, nobody was able to hear what he had to say.
Not until he met them where they were.
Until he sat and mourned with them.
Until he validated what they were going through WITHOUT trying to fix it, minimize it, or dismiss it.
So, in this season…or any time really… if you see someone in pain, sit with them in their pain. You don’t have to say anything…you just have to be there with them.
Sharing in their suffering is a sacred act.
Don’t make it profane by being a chess playing pigeon.