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Lifting the burdens of others

Have you ever known need? Have you ever been hungry and not known where your next meal is coming from? While I have been blessed not to know this sense of desperation, I have seen the face of despair in many and heard stories of desperation from years past.
I was recently standing at a gasoline pump filling my tank. When a car pulled in next to me. After hearing the engine, I immediately thought, they are lucky to be going anywhere.

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Lights, carols and sadness

Christmas for many is filled with favorites – food, music, decorations, and family.

But for many the month of December is filled with reminders of what can be overcome in other months of the year.

Loneliness is a feeling that many manage throughout the year. When Christmas comes around though up goes the beauty of the colored lights and crowds flock to shopping malls to fill their stockings and beneath their trees. Folks are hosting parties, calendars are filled with special events in towns, churches, and at schools and all we see reminds us of the blessings of the season.

You would think that all these activities would make those who are lonely feel better especially if they are able to participate. They are fun while they last and do bring spirits up. Often seeing others having fun together at malls or parties only brings on greater depths of missing loved ones or lost opportunities at love once the lights fade and sounds go silent.

Eventually, the individual must return to their home, to the four walls and empty halls. This is when the sadness of the season sinks in.

Does this mean we should not try to uplift others during this season of love? No, it means we should only try harder to make a difference in the lives of those God sends our way who are alone in life. God made all types of people, some are quite sufficient on their own. But there are those who need us to remind them each day, each week that they are not alone.

Are you helping in this effort? Is there a relative who may be widowed? A friend who is single? A child who is orphaned? Can you make this season better for them? Will you help them when the lights fade and the music goes silent?

We are here to encourage one another. This Christmas season, I urge you to remember that God sent His Son to save us from the loneliness of this world and remind us that we should love our neighbor as ourselves.

If we do anything this season, let’s remember that for life to be better for those around us, it begins with us. If I feel lonely, I think of what I was taught by a now 102-year-old – the advice her father gave to her: “If you want a friend, you have to be a friend.” It’s amazing how uplifting it is to spend your time helping others. It has always made a difference in my life. Go out and be a friend – it’s a wonderful Christmas gift!