This article appeared in the Centre Daily Times on Dec. 21, 2011.
There are many brokenhearted in our community.
Many are walking around with shattered hearts. You can’t tell it from the outside — we have smiles on our faces and clothes on our backs. We have games on our smartphones and presents in the mail. Our talk is sophisticated and our schedules are full.
But we’re hurting on the inside. We just won’t admit it.
Christmas is the perfect time to tear open the wrapping, break the adhesive, lay the pieces on the table. Christmas is the perfect time to get real because our hobbled hearts won’t hold, no matter how much tape and ribbon we try.
This honesty runs contrary to what’s expected. We’re supposed to tinsel up, wear a bow, look our shiniest. Profess goodwill, sing a carol, bake some cookies. Why? Because it’s Christmas — and everyone wants a happy holiday.
But what if we changed Christmas this year? What if we unwrapped our hearts and placed them on the table? What if we didn’t care that they were broken?
You see, Christmas is not about putting on a show, it’s about drawing near. At the original Christmas, God came to Earth. He came to a pregnant teenager and her unemployed fiancé. He came to a stable and a manger, to shepherds and to sheep. It wasn’t shiny or pretty.
So where do we get the idea that we have to be?
Probably the worst we can do this Christmas is to throw some sugar and spice and act all nice and dangle some twinkling lights and pretend every-thing’s OK. The worst we can do is parade in the pageant when our hearts are broken.
Because that won’t get us anywhere. It’s more of the same fluff and icing.
Instead, let’s have a real Christmas. God came to Earth. Now He wants to come to you. May you lay down your shattered pieces so God can put them back together.