My pastor has an incredible sense of humor. There are times when the entire congregation is left in stitches because of his (often unintentional) jokes, but there are also those little moments where we just roll our eyes and smile as if to say, “Oh, that crazy Kevin.”
The moment in the service that some churches refer to as the Passing of the Peace is often one of those times during the service where we wait to see what quirkiness surfaces. Rather than simply turning to each other to shake hands and exchange a greeting, we’re often asked to do something a bit outlandish. Sometimes we need to tell the people around us something great about them, other times we need to tell them emphatically of God’s love for them, but today – during cold and flu season! – he asked us to hug four people around us. I went with the safe people around me beginning with my husband and then hugging my mom who was visiting from out of town. But then I turned around and saw a little bitty older woman all by herself behind me. I grabbed her and gave her a big hug, and as I was moving away I heard her quietly say, “Thank you, I really needed that.”
The holiday season is magical. It is beautiful, exciting, filled with promise and hope….for most people. But for others it can be a reminder of loved ones lost or moved away. Hope run out. Promises unfulfilled.
Perhaps the woman behind me had just had a rough morning or simply hadn’t had a nice hug in some time, but maybe this is her first Christmas without her spouse. Or maybe it’s the first year that her family isn’t coming home to spend the holiday with her. Regardless, I’m so happy that today wasn’t a day that I rolled my eyes at silly old Kevin but instead played along with his crazy idea.
It’s so important that we take time during the holiday season to care not only for ourselves, but for others. What types of things can we do to take care of each other during the holiday season?