The Week of Sighs
Have you sighed these last few days?
Sighed over the beauty of a Christmas well spent and with the warm blanket of contentment warming your ever-so-warm self as you cuddle with your warm (well built, muscles in all the right places but who knows to feed you chocolates and shortbread because you're you?) significant other in front of a warm fire whilst sipping hot, not warm, chocolate and warming your selves over your incredible magazine cover Christmas?
Sighing over the awesome scam you and your spouse pulled off to surprise your kids with The Perfect Gift. Or recalling how your oldest and third children would sneak out of their rooms in the night and sort the pile of presents?
Or that sigh when you see your friends posing with all their children and you know you can't achieve that special photo? But love doesn't wane across the miles, does it?
Or are you sighing in relief that it's all over? The ridiculous expectations of guests who think everyone's toddler can and should resist shiny things and yet have zero recollection of their darlings flushing gerbils down the toilet.
"It can swim! See!?"
That one aunt?
"My Filbert NEVER drooled!"
"No, Auntie Flobee, he just choked Nana's cat instead."
The harsh parents who never seem satisfied with anything you do and follow you around all day giving tips?
"The gravy is too brown!"
"Your daughter's boyfriend isn't from here, is he?"
Or the beloved parents who are 3000 miles away and all you want is 5 minutes in the same room as them just to hug them? The parents who see you as a 52 year old woman, but still see a 5 year old waiting for Santa.
Or the sigh of the alone. The sigh no one hears? You think, maybe not even God hears?
All you want is for the wretched 12 months that were 2015 to leave and for 2016 to at least offer some sort of hope, even if you know deep down that hope is for fools, the rich, and the free?
I have a dear, sweet friend for whom 2015 has been truly horrible. Heartbreaking and just horrible.
I have learned never to offer kitschy platitudes, or yes, even well meant Bible verses. Not when a sigh of love and a deeper sigh of "I am here. I am beside you. Let me carry something...especially your pain." is needed.
For many of us, what we show the world is the well crafted veneer of what we can contain at the moment.
Do yourself a favour during this week between Christmas and New Year's, let someone hear your sigh. If you can, be honest from where its roots go deep.
Even if that honesty is between you and God.
If possible? In your comings and goings this week, be the smile that the sigh-er needs.
Bring the moment that offers a twinkling of hope. Lift the weary head and straighten the shoulders of those who's sighs are physical and who just can't muster their own hope anymore.
Be the door to Immanuel.