Our Facebook news-feeds are about to be flooded with group pictures of seemingly happy families. In the accompanying comments, proud parents will extol the virtues of their children. They are national honor society students, all-district athletes, and the list goes on and on…. And of course your family is experiencing the greatest Christmas known to humankind. I am familiar with such pictures, because I have posted them. I am proud of my kids too.
As another Christmas descends on us, I realize there are parents scrolling through their news-feeds that have special needs children. Their child may never make the honor roll. And their son will never suit up for a football game. Their daughter will not be leading the team on the basketball court. How do they feel, as we post pictures of our children basking in their latest success? And what about the single mom, who is not experiencing the greatest Christmas known to humankind?
And then there are parents that have lost children… Several years ago I officiated at a funeral service for a young man who was murdered at age 19. His parents were devastated. I delivered a death notification a few years ago to a family that lost their 16- year-old daughter in an awful crash that also killed two other people. I think of children who will never know their parent due to a premature death. I think about these families during Christmas time. And I hurt for them. It’s not an easy time of year.
I am extremely proud of all three of my sons, but I am not going to post pictures of them this year. I plan to fast from the posting pictures. I am going to concentrate instead on reaching out to those that are grieving this year instead. When I have a conversation with someone, I really try not to make it all about me. I attempt to make a concerted effort to ask the person I am conversing with about the people and things important to them. Why can’t we do the same thing, as we utilize social media? Why can’t we put more energy into asking others about their Christmas, their family, and their pictures?
My fast will be over soon. I hope to post pics of my family and close friends soon. And I may be a little over the top in expressing my pride regarding their accomplishments. But for Christmas, I am choosing to fast…How about you? What will you do to reach out to those that are hurting?