She lingered a little longer than the rest, not wishing to leave the dimming glow after the Christmas Eve candlelight service.
She went from staff member to staff member, hugging necks, patting backs and giving more well wishes.
There was a little sadness in her voice and a glimmer of dread in her eyes as she was preparing to face the holidays with a few other seniors, no children, no grandchildren. Just a quiet season with a few older folks.
As she finally ran out of hugs and small talk to make, she quietly moved toward the door and headed out into the night. Watching her go, I had this thought, “The holidays are really lonely for people like her.”
However, only a few moments later as we were seated at a busy restaurant, I noticed another woman. This woman was crammed into a little table, surrounded by couples, families and noise. She sat alone with her food and her book. As she was in my direct line of vision, I had opportunity to notice her movements. Her face was somber, her eyes sad, her meal was quiet and then she was gone. Watching the restaurant staff clean up her table, I had this thought, “The holidays are really lonely for people like her.”
Just yesterday, I ran into an old friend at the movies. Divorced, the father of teenagers, he was by himself at the movies on Christmas night. He acted bravely as he ordered popcorn. But, as I walked away, I had this thought, “The holidays are really lonely for people like him.”
All around us, people are struggling with childlessness, divorce, separation, difficulty and loneliness. So much of it we cannot fix or change.
However, we can be aware and we can be kind. We can clothe ourselves with a heart that’s compassionate, tender and merciful. Consider Colossians 3:12
“Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” (Col. 3:12, NLT)
“God has chosen you. You are holy and loved by Him. Because of this, your new life should be full of loving-pity. You should be kind to others and have no pride. Be gentle and be willing to wait for others.” (Col. 3:12, NLV)
As you and I are walking through these days of the holiday season, we can be on the lookout for that person who is lingering, sitting alone at a meal or buying popcorn at the movies – all by themselves.
When we spot them, we could enter into their worlds possibly making them a little less lonely.
We could even take the time to invite them into our worlds with a smile, a kind word, a hug or some other graceful gesture.
Because we never know what life may bring.
One day, the shoe may be on the other foot.
One day, the lonely person may be US~
Blessings to you,
~ I regularly link to these AMAZING SITES~
© Melanie Redd and Ministry of Hope, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Melanie Redd and Ministry of Hope with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.