Recently I learned that in America more suicides happen in the five weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year's than in January, February, and March combined.
To me that means more of us feel unloved and depressed at this time of year than any other.
In a room full of people, yet we stand alone.
Or by ourselves and away form the "busy-ness",
watching TV, on the computer,
Prisoners & the homeless,
whether for political & religious reasons or criminal activity,
are separated from everyone by concrete & steel.
However many of us reside in a “prison of our own making”.
We have been wronged, and then we hurt others in return.
Now we live separated from loved ones,
barriers of independence built to protect us from others,
and in a prison of solitude we reside.
And at this time of year the hurt we feel
hangs in the air thick enough to choke on.
How do we reduce that pain?
The goal we often truly seek
yet which eludes us all the same;
The feeling that someone else truly cares for us,
and a purpose for life in caring for another.
To love and be loved in return. To connect with someone else.
First, we learn to forgive, ourselves, then others.
Seek an opportunity to forgive,
and to apologize for the hurt we may have caused.
Break down the barriers.
Spend time together, maybe over a meal.
Say nothing if you know not where to start.
Let healing begin.
Like the prisoners that suffer now, hopeless and alone,
we too need something to look forward to if things are to change.
Make plans to spend time with another person.
Take the risk to let love in.
When your car brakes down, your twitter status probably wont solve it,
and a Facebook “shout-out” makes us feel nice for a moment,
but eating dinner alone again wont change.
If you cannot spend time with those you know & love
for whatever reason
then will you take the chance with someone you dont know?
Volunteer in a homeless shelter.
Coordinate a Christmas church-service at a jail-house.
Maybe you won't help them because it seems too risky.
But the pain of being at home on your own does no one any good.
Regardless of any abilities which limit you,
YOU CAN make a difference,
no matter how small.
If not today, then start with one new year's resolution:
Find a way to reach others for God,
and in return learn how to care for someone new.
But for today - Pray.
Pray - that one prisoner comes to know the peace of reconciliation.
Pray - that the victims of crime come to heal completely.
Pray - that the families and children left behind are provided for this season.
Pray - for those who have wronged you, and those whom you have wronged.
"I have come that they may have life,
and that they may have it more abundantly."
- Jesus the Christ, John 10:10b NKJV
This Post is a Revision from December 2010