On a Fashion Diva, a Broken Heart, and an {un}Merry Christmas

 

I rock wall climbed today. I have been climbing for almost a year. I love it!

My plan was to have fun writing a post all about how great climbing is in order to encourage you to try something new, and maybe a little scary. 

But…..my thoughts are on the man I met tonight.

…..

I ran into Kohl’s tonight with my two boys, 8 and 6. They needed a little retail therapy.

No really…

My youngest, especially, is my fashion diva.

{Not sure I should be using this to describe a boy. So, if you have a better “male” version of this term, please let me know. Anyway, you get my point.}

The days here on the Northeast Coast are getting shorter and colder. The sun sets by 5pm which greatly interferes with afternoon playtime with friends. My little one has been very tearful that past few days. And with alligator tears running down his cheeks will cry out, “Mom, it is all school’s fault. We don’t have time to play!”

{He is in the first grade, I am hoping he will soon adjust. My fingers are crossed.}

He has been begging me over the last couple of weeks to buy him some new shirts and shoes. He says all of his clothes aren’t new like his friends. And, more specifically, he wants Tony Hawk shirts. Oh my…the battles begin.

{Now I don’t know about you, but in my house growing up, we rarely ever got to buy brand name clothes. Not because my parents were mean or wanted us to not be “cool” but because on a minister’s budget, we just plain couldn’t afford it. Needless to say, this issue has been difficult for me and my husband. How do we let our son express his uniqueness without allowing him to get caught up in the branding? When you figure out the answer to that one, please patent it. I will be your first sale.}

Shopping with kids is never easy. And, it seems to be even worse when we are going to buy something necessary for them, like shoes. {I am sure this is very familiar to many of you moms out there.}

My boys could not keep their hands off one another or stay out of each other’s personal space. One would cross the “invisible” line and the other would shout out a nasty comment or poke hit the other.

By the time we made it to the checkout line, I wanted two of those “tether-thingys” for toddlers {you know the ones I said I would never buy for my kids…when I didn’t have kids} so that I could pull them apart…or tie them to separate clothing racks. {I hope you are laughing with me now. I would never actually advocate for this kind of discipline…hee, hee.}

Seriously though, back to my point.

There was a middle aged man standing ahead of me in line. No purchases to be made, just a bill to pay.

A 5 o-clock shadow on his face. Work boots. Eyes worn.

He looked over at my boys several times with a knowing grin on his face. Their antics continued as they played with stuffed animals on the shelves in line to the cash register.

I tried my best to correct them, as discreetly as possible.

He commented, “Enjoy it now. They grow up fast. You don’t get those moments back.”

“How many children do you have?”, I asked.

“Two…but my 21-year-old son died a year ago in an automobile accident.”

“I am sorry,” I replied.

His eyes filled with tears. The pain raw.

“This must be a very difficult time of year for you,” was all I could say.

“Yes.”

“I lost my brother 10 years ago. This time of year is very hard for those of us who have lost someone we love.”

He finished his transaction.

I needed to move on in order to repair the damage my boys had left of the stuffed animals.

I met his eyes and said, without thinking, “Have a Merry Christmas”.

Really?

Is that really what I just said?

It was a reflex.

I am certain “merry” is that last thing that Father is thinking right now. He just misses him son…and wants him back.

…..

Will you join me tonight in prayer for this man and his family? I don’t know his name.

Let’s call him, Jesse, for now.

He is hurting and broken, surrounded by reminders of a season that is expected to be a time of celebration and new life.

…..

Dear Heavenly Father,

I lift up, Jesse, to you. You know him. You know the state of his heart, mind, and spirit. I pray that he will be filled with your love and peace tonight, and as he goes through this Christmas season. Jesse has reminded me of all those who are grieving lost family members, whether it has been a month or 30 years since their passing. This holiday season is like salt in a wound for many of us. Please help me be sensitive to those you are grieving and suffering during this difficult time. I pray that in your mysterious way, O Lord, you are able to reach them in the darkest places of their souls and heal their shattered hearts.

And, for Jesse, Lord, I pray that you will give him the strength and courage to continue putting one foot in front of the other. I pray you will bring others around him who will accept him where he is at and love him, flaws and all.

For he delivers the needy when he calls,
the poor and him who has no helper.
He has pity on the weak and the needy,
and saves the lives of the needy.
From oppression and violence he redeems their life,
and precious is their blood in his sight.

The prayers of David, the son of Jesse, are ended.

Psalm 72: 12-14, 20

 …..

In Jesus’ name I pray.

jana

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