There is a strange grief that comes with the winds that close Christmas. In some hearts, it weighs deep; in others, the slightest brush, yet, leaving a smarting that remains.
After-Christmas can be a disconcerting time. For those who dipped into the pool of Christmas joy and peace and laughter, and swam happily with family and friends, waving goodbye and closing the door and returning to normal life may not be the easiest thing to do. Even those who had hoped for something during Christmas, and did not receive it, might find the return to the everyday an emptiness harder to stomach. The sight of the tree, the tinsel, the decorations, the memory of meals and lights and presents, the manger and the glow we sought for our hearts… when Christmas ends, these might now be like roses whose thorns crowd out the blooms.
We do not always wish to acknowledge this smarting, this sadness. There is sometimes, an embarrassment to do so, to admit Christmas was not what we had hoped for, when all around us people are sharing about how the light and joy just spilled and splashed everywhere for them. In this gush of sharing, many stand at the edge, forcing a smile and willing it to stay there, maybe even quickly thinking up imaginary stories of great times, in case the music stopped over our seat.
And even if it was a beautiful Christmas, we might be reluctant to admit we were feeling a sadness over departing visitors and farewells, fearing that it would allude to ungratefulness, or insensitivity to those who had had a grey Christmas.
But I am the last person to advocate hiding pain and hurts, however minute, behind the façade of brittle smiles and false cheeriness. Jesus’ reminder, Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. ~ Matthew 10:29 – 30, is His Arms stretched out towards us, welcoming us to His Heart, with our weeps, both great and little. God is not just a God for the gravest of wounds.
He is the God for all wounds, even the littlest ones that even Christmas can bring.
So, if we are sad that the tree has to be taken down soon, or that the last jolly soul has departed, leaving us to our loneliness, if we were hurt by thoughtless others over Christmas, if the days after Christmas seem grim or grimy, …. no one needs to pretend to be strong and stoic, but run to our Lord to press our pains into His Sacred Heart.
For no hurt is too small for heaven.
Come, Ye Disconsolate
Come, ye disconsolate, where’er ye languish,
Come, at the shrine of God fervently kneel;
Here bring your wounded hearts; here tell your anguish;
Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.
Joy of the desolate, light of the straying,
Hope when all others die, fadeless and pure;
Here speaks the Comforter, in God’s name saying,
Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot cure.
Come, ask the infidel what boon he brings us,
What charm for aching hearts he can reveal,
Sweet is that heavenly promise Hope sings us—
Earth has no sorrow that God cannot heal ~
St Thomas More