It is midwinter. The days are short. It is wet and cold. Many are rushed about by preparations for the holidays. Others in what is meant to be a festive season of tidings of good news and joy find being away from friends and family a cause of gloom. Others are apprehensive of the reunions with ones that they have grown apart from. It is in short, a “bleak mid-winter” for many.
A very dear sister in Christ wrote to me today and confided in me her depression at this season. Before continuing, I would like to say that I am not medically trained, nor do I understand all the ins and outs of biochemical responses to situations. Even my psychological training was limited to family counselling and low level talking therapies. I can add to that that I am a classic type B personality, and elation and depression are low key in my own life.
That all said, even with this Christmas-tide upon us, and it being the first since Dianne’s passing, I still have no depression. Yes, the weather and season are dark and drizzly. Yes, I spend a lot of time physically alone. But I still have faith in not ever being totally alone. Jesus said, “I will be with you always,” and I find comfort in that, and my ad hoc conversations with Him are frequent. I also trust in His promise that Dianne and I are not permanently separated, but we will be reunited in the place Jesus has gone ahead to prepare.
Christina Rossetti’s poem In the Bleak Midwinter reminds us though of the promise of the season. Despite all of the gloom and social stresses, it is the arrival of Emmanuel which we should cling to. He came that all concerns could be lifted from us. He has come to bring us peace.
Some might take exception to such views. Marx is credited with saying religion, and by implication faith, is the opiate of the masses. If that is the case, the all I have to say is bring on the spiritual pharmaceuticals! I want “the peace that exceeds all understanding,” and I wish you find it as well.