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Gifts missing, now gifts for Jesus

I wonder how it feels to celebrate Christmas, with Christ.

How amazing it must be to be there as the herald angels sing, and as a mother who once gave birth in a manger, praises her son, now the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Picture with me please as we wonder together. Imagine the joy felt by those like the wise men, Joseph and Mary, Elizabeth, and John the Baptist  who stirred in his mother’s womb at the nearness of His Savior, as they all sing praises to the one whose birth we celebrate this week.
The image of that celebration in heaven is one that never ends. We here just take a day. It is almost enough to make us jealous of those there. 

Almost.

And I say almost, because we are yet human. While knowing in our minds that it is a glorious thing to be at that celebration, and knowing in our hearts that our loved ones there are so happy to be in His presence, we still hurt.

We still mourn. We still cry. We still feel the pain of loss, the sadness of our empty places, the loneliness of the missing pieces of our hearts.

While I know, and I smile, that my Patty is there in that heavenly celebration, what I see, and feel, is her not where she should be. She should be cross legged in the floor hastily wrapping presents. She should be at the dollar store buying stocking stuffers, or in the kitchen, making her dressing that always needed just a little more sage.
She should be here, cranky on Christmas morning because I woke her before dawn, she should be here, putting way too much mustard in the potato salad, and she should be here, accidentally creating the now family tradition of her chocolate lemon pie. And she should be here, chasing her 2 year old grandson, and cradling her new granddaughter. 

But she isn’t. Neither are too many others. It seems to me we have lost way too many this year. Our obituary page is full week after week. Often there isn’t room to run them all. 

I cannot help but cry when I think about the grandchildren who won’t have their papa or grandma this year. I sit here weeping at the young lives lost too. It is impossible for me to not think, they should be here.
They should be here. Katie Jo, Lauren, Ashlin, Autumn, Reagan, shouldn’t they be here? How can we not think that? As husbands, fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers...how can we not say, they should be here?

It is only a belief, a faith, that lets me know that my Patty is there singing with herald angels that enables me to let go of, she should be here.
It is that same faith that tells me that Katie Jo’s beautiful voice is now a part of that heavenly chorus, and that everyone else we lost this year is now not gathered around a tree, but a throne, that lets me be able to know one very simple thing this Christmas.

While we have all lost those that were gifts to our lives, they are now gifts for the one who gave us all the greatest gift ever; a savior.

My prayers are with all of you who have missing pieces this year, and those who are missing your gifts. I miss mine too. I pray we all find just a little bit of joy in knowing our gifts, are now His.

Bowie County Citizens Tribune

139 E.N. Front Street
New Boston, Texas 75570