Christmas Cards

Why am I so into the doings of Christmas so early? I don’t know. I know how addled, and upset, and frustrated, and snappy, and teary I get this time of year.  My husband’s word for me whenever I get like this, ‘unsnorkable’. That about describes it-and he should know!

Christmas cards have been a part of Christmas for me since I was a little girl. Mother and Daddy would sit down with a long list of peoples names and addresses I did not know … and probably couldn’t read then. They sat together and wrote and addressed cards with messages as long as letters. It seemed a lot of work, but the feeling I got, and you know children pick up on feelings easily, the feeling was one of joy and happiness in connecting with friends far away they rarely saw. I make my list and it seems they are all close friends and family I see on a regular basis.

Do I not have friends far away to share good wishes and tales of the year’s happenings? I really don’t. That’s sad to me. I am confined, it seems, to knowing only a small circle of friends and family.

In reality, I don’t think I am alone. I think people these days are more connected than ever through cyberspace, but, are they really connected? I wonder. I have recently joined Facebook. Up pops people’s names and faces asking to be friends. In truth, it scares me. Why? I don’t know. Maybe it’s because I consider friends to be those I relate to one on one in the real world of space, time, and touchable moments shared face to face. I don’t know.

Am I afraid of reaching out of my comfort zone? In this respect, the answer appears to be yes. I only want to relate to the seen. The unseen makes me uneasy and fearful.

Uh oh, I have said a mouthful there!

Dear Lord, You above all are unseen by me, yet I profess a strong and personal relationship with You. How can that be, from what I just confessed about earthly friendships?

I must consider why that is, and whether the truly real and face to face, or rather heart to heart, soul to soul friendship with You is one I believe we share. Why then the problem with me letting others into my circle of friends?

There comes to mind a dear friend that daily sends devotions out to teachers and retirees and many others, I am sure. I have only seen her face to face one time. We are the same age, born in the same year, both teachers, and I consider her one of my closest and dearest friends. Is it because we share love, joy, peace, encouragement, and support for whatever is going on in our lives-sight unseen-yet definitly heart to heart-soul to soul?

Dear Lord, I thank You for showing me through cyberspace friendship, how an unseen relationship in this earthly world, can teach me so much about You. If I trust the here and now intimacy of the real and true relationship with my unseen teacher friend, how much more can I trust the Truth of the here and now intimacy of the real and true relationship with You, O Father, who is unseen to me, but with whom I dare call ‘Friend’.

Proverbs 18:24 A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another.

1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.

What a Friend We Have in Jesus
Lyrics: Joseph M. Scriven, 1820-1886
Music: Charles C. Converse, 1832-1918

What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit, oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer!

Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged, take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful, who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy-laden, cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge, take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee? Take it to the Lord in
prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee, thou wilt find a solace there.

Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised, Thou wilt all our burdens bear;
May we ever, Lord, be bringing, all to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright, unclouded, there will be no need for prayer,
Rapture, praise, and endless worship, will be our sweet portion there.

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