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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Friday, December 11, 2015

“A Blue Christmas”

    It’s Christmas!  I dash into yet another store and weave my way through the
busy shoppers filling the narrow aisle.  One shopper, however, catches my attention.
I pause as she holds in front of her, several sprigs of gold leaves and berries. Those look beautiful, I tell her.  Casting a glance my way, she says,  “Thank you, I’m getting them for the cemetery”. 
    I spend only this brief moment with her before I resume my quickened step to the back of the store.  A few minutes later and we find ourselves standing in line together at the check out counter.  The woman has added other gold ornaments to accentuate the decorative vines she has chosen.  It seems important to her that the Christmas accents be just right!  Still questioning herself, she asks my opinion on her decision.  Again, I assure her that her selection is quite beautiful. 
    “Your taking them to the cemetery?”  I ask.  “Yes,  she says, “I was there before church and I will go back this afternoon”.    
    The woman is about my age, perhaps a few years younger.  She speaks with a European accent which I cannot identify.  Looking into her face now, I say,   “This visit must be for someone who was very special to you”.  Her eyes cloud over slightly but with a gentle smile of remembrance and reflection, she responds, “Yes, my husband and my son are buried side by side”. 
    I offer my condolences. I speak a few simple, yet sincere words of sympathy for her loss.  She seems grateful for our brief time together. As I turn to leave, I hear her voice behind me saying, “I want to wish you a very nice day.” 
    As I reflect upon this encounter, I am in awe once again of how the spirit of the divine catches our attention and unites us even as strangers in the market places of our lives.  I am reminded of how the gracious spirit of a loving and compassionate God opens doors and gently leads us to to bring a ministry of presence where ever needed.
    I think about the many people that I know who are grieving the loss of loved ones at this time of the year and for whom this will be a “Blue Christmas”.  I hope they will “find comfort in the voice of a friend, the flicker of a beautiful memory or the words of a song that are meant just for them”.(Hallmark)  May the awareness of God’s tender touch upon their hearts bless them with comfort and peace this Christmas.

With Caring,
Ruth Black,