Christmas is over. Maybe that's a relief to you. Maybe it's a sharp pain in your heart to think about a long winter ahead behind closed doors. Maybe Christmas was the one day this year you felt joy. Maybe it was the day this year that hurt the most.
It's a literal dark day here, this day after, with the sky covered over and rain and snow taking turns falling down. In my little corner of the world, Christmas was bright. I have the luck of family and a child who, though he doesn't believe in Santa Claus, believes in magical moments that really do stand out during the holidays. The beautiful day that was Christmas is still sparkling today even though the world outside is grey.
I wish to share some sparks with you, to help you hold on, to let you know that you can fire them into the void if you need help, and to ask you to believe that they will be seen. You will be heard. But how? We lead up to Christmas with outpourings of kind acts, goodwill gestures, messages of hope. What happens after? If you were hungry before, hurting before, lonely before, chances are you will be still. What sparks of hope can I offer? Anything that comes to mind dies before it touches my lips because it's just words. What good are words?
Sometimes the real prayers are the wordless ones. So here I sit, typing words but feeling silent prayers. I don't have a quote for you, a Bible text, a greeting card, that can make everything right. I open my hands and see emptiness. My heart is full but I am at a loss.
The funny thing about the time after Christmas is that it is also the time before Christmas. What we waited for is over but coming again. A happy thought for me, a dreadful thought perhaps for you. But, if this time is also the time before, then it should still be the time of giving. There should never be an off season for generosity.
We look to January, every year, as the new start that can be better. I have no idea what will happen this time around, of course I didn't know last time either, but my only goal is to keep praying those wordless prayers so that I can be quiet to listen and open to giving.
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