Christmas day has taken on a new meaning for our family, for it was on Christmas morning three years ago that Jesus decided it was time for our daughter to join Him in heaven. Frankly, if Jesus had asked for my two cents worth about this part of His plan I would have likely given Him a piece of my mind I could not afford to lose. But God is gracious, He could have easily called home both our children within 30 days that year as a result of medical issues. We are so thankful He left our son with us and He has provided some great memories and tangible remembrances of our daughter.
God gifted both our children to be caring, compassionate and helpful. We have seen this in our son and it has been borne out in his work through numerous awards and recognition by his customers. The Magi, who came a long ways and at considerable expense, had great, intense, hard to contain, joy when they met the baby Jesus. When our daughter passed away we were flooded with cards, emails, stories, Facebook messages, personal contacts, from people literally all over the globe whose lives she had touched in her unassuming, quiet, caring manner. The statements and actions of the 1500+ that attended her memorial services and those that contacted us were like the gifts of the Magi. While there is still a void in our hearts she has inspired us to keep her unselfish helpful spirit thriving in our lives and those we are able to influence.
Before Beth went into the hospital she wrote a note to us which simply said, “Rejoice With Me.” I have to admit that it not an easy task for me. Pastor Chad explained that the writers of the Bible needed four words to try to express how elated the Magi were as they saw the baby Jesus. Intellectually, I know Beth is no longer wracked with pain, she is celebrating Jesus earthly birth face to face with Him and she is looking forward to the time we will be reunited. But I still struggle with having any kind of meaningful rejoicing that she is no longer with us.
Beth’s Facebook page is still active. Hardly a week goes by that there are not several postings directed to her, thanking her for how she has guided them and made a difference in their lives. Of course, each year on Christmas the comments are especially plentiful. This past year Beth would have turned 40 years old. We were pleasantly surprised when we received 20+ birthday cards and dozens of emails and Facebook posts. While these are not tangibly valuable, there value to us cannot be measured monetarily.
Pastor Chad reminded us that Jesus is our King to be honored; He is our God to worship; He is our Savior who provides our ability to have an eternal relationship with God. We cannot be with Jesus face to face right now, yet we can make this Christmas season about Jesus. We can set aside some specific time to be with Jesus. We can present Jesus to the world through our words and our actions.
Also, we can show Jesus’ love by thanking someone who has influenced our life; encourage someone who is sad or suffering; look for someone who has a need and find a way to meet that need; find someone who is hurting and help them. Do it because it would make Jesus happy.