Christmas, even with all its wonders, can stir up heartaches and hurts that attend broken relationships. But it’s also a time when reaching out may make sense. So I am reposting some thoughts I had awhile back, and I hope they are useful. Sometimes a small step is the best one we can make.
A Charles Addams’ cartoon shows an old man in his PJ’s and robe standing behind his barricaded front door, watching as a small red Valentine is shoved between the door and floor. Who (or what) is it thrusting the card under the door? Is it a ruse? Will the old guy pick it up? Will he open the door?
The cartoon, even in German, generates more questions – questions that we might ask of any rocky or hurting relationships:
- Does the lateness of the communication matter?
- What or whom does the old man fear that forced him to secure so many locks? Is it dangerous to retrieve the seemingly innocent card?
- Who would risk a late night venture into perhaps a dangerous neighborhood to give a Valentine? And why? What will happen?
It could be a monster hoping to trick wary souls – not a far-fetched guess given Mr. Addams’ humor. It could be a neighbor, friend, or relative determined to express a little thoughtfulness to a lonely scared soul.
Or, it could be a neighbor, friend or relative who’s had a falling out with Mr. PJ man and doesn’t know how break down the barriers.
Some people, who get angry, or are hurt or disappointed, slam and lock relationship doors so tightly, that the only communication possible may be a card slipped under the door: kids sometimes close out parents; spouses shut out their partners; friends end associations – decisively. And I can see myself on both sides of the door drawn by Mr. Addams: either trying to communicate, or, fearful to talk.
When breaches happen, they sure hurt. All the bright lights of the season make the hurts harder to bear, and harder to sort out, but not impossible. (What Do You Do When Your Family Disappoints You? )
The good news is that the Christmas season is a time we can send love messages now, and not wait until February 14! Christmas cards are great ways we can send love and good wishes to others.
It’s not too late to say a kind or comforting word; nor, is it too late to reassure others of our love and loyalty. The recipients may not choose to read our Christmas valentines — they may be unwilling to respond. We can’t control our friend or family member to pick up the card –But, it is never too late to unbolt the doors to our hearts!
The real danger is our doing nothing, while there is yet time to speak a good word in season. (Proverbs 25:11-13)
The best angle from which to approach any problem is the try-angle. ~Author Unknown
With man this is impossible, with God all things are possible. ( Lord Jesus, Matthew 19:26)