The Light of the Christmas Star
Thanksgiving Day opens the floodgates into the annual shopping season even before the dishes are put away. So we run, run, run through internet sales, grocery stores and New Year’s parties timed to the relentless drumbeat of too much to do and too little time to finish.
But when the rush of the day is over and night nears, sometimes there is little left but a vague sense that something important slipped through our hands.
If we pause here and look deeply into these quiet moments, we can see the holidays as they really are; they are filled with people who are lonely, depressed and confused.
Every year armies of tired shoppers sort through sales racks silently looking for the light of Christmas, knowing that their hands will be empty when they get home; there is nothing left of the light but Black Friday. They shop until they drop, but running the Christmas treadmill is useless; the light just keeps moving farther from reach. Discouraged, they quietly slip into the ranks of people who lived through holidays so dark and difficult that when Christmas comes, they close the doors and shutter their windows, because the light hurts their eyes. Many think they don’t have anything to give or even that their lives don’t matter but they are among the brightest treasures of the season; life’s greatest gifts are in their reach.
With courage, forgiveness and the persistence to keep looking past empty sales racks and beyond the artificial lights of the season, it is still possible to see the light of the Christmas. His name is Jesus. He followed us all the way from a little town called Bethlehem to illuminate the dark and lonely places Christmas is slipping through our hands. All the silver bells of the season cannot overtake the value of His gift; no darkness or distance can extinguish His light, even depression and despair cannot diminish the power of His freely given gift.
But the eyes of this weary world are still sweeping the silence of the night sky looking for the promise of peace for a planet that never rests.
The star that rose over the birthplace of hope hasn’t disappeared into the blinking lights that deck the halls of the holidays; it doesn’t rise or fall or come and go with passing seasons. The light of Christmas present is the same as Christmas past.
Although the tumult of our times would seem to hide the light, we have never been left alone to lose our way in the blinding speed of the unimportant. Hope is not far away; just follow the Christmas Star.
Peggy J. Symons
The Holiday Bridge
The holiday’s are falling over the city in a blanket of holiday trees and blinking lights.
Bells are ringing out for the needy hoping to be heard.
Embraced by the sights and sounds of the season I thought of the advocates and workers who have dedicated their lives to helping people with mental illnesses.
I saw them as they are; people from all walks of life with their hands joined in a just and common cause.
In a vision of many colors and details, I could
see they were building a
It was a beautiful bridge, finely designed and
engineered with the best of
intentions, dedication and hope.
There were many people at work; everyone who came to the work of the bridge had a different but necessary gift or trade.
No one’s gift was insignificant or diminished in
any way a by mental
I wondered “What if we all had the same skills or talents?”
The bridge would never be built.
In the light of the bridge building, advocates were welcoming the workers;
others were bringing the gifts of laughter and smiles that lightened everyone’s work.
Many people living with mental illnesses were working on the bridge knowing that it cannot stand without them.
The rivets that held the work together were made out of the promise of a new day; the strength of the bridge was in its finest details and the efforts of many hands.
Everyone who came to the building of bridge brought gifts of light and
unique beauty but the brightest lights on the bridge came from the hands of the workers who thought no one had noticed their gifts.
When the bridge is done, it will span the
distance between darkness and
It will illuminate the night sky where stigma and discrimination still have their hold.
People will cross from one side of the bridge to the other; the generosity of the builders will show them the way.
They will find courage, perseverance and the hope from which the plans of the bridge were drawn.
As I walked around the vision of the bridge and its exquisite details I could see that it has already been built in Heaven.
I saw the workers and advocates, even the weary ones, and the gifts they brought to the bridge.
They were not ordinary gifts packaged in paper or
wrapped up with
they were gifts of their finest work, freely
given in the hope of a better
The light and beauty of the bridge are gifts for all seasons.
Through the advocates I can see that the greatest
gifts we have to give are not holiday trees or
the blinking lights of a passing season; they are the steady lights of
our finest works,
unblended hope and the vision of a better day for all of us.
Peggy J. Symons Copyright pending