|My sister, our cousin, and myself|
We realized that we didn't have anyone to take a picture of our entire group, so we asked the next people who came out of the door of the restaurant if anyone would mind snapping a picture for us. A lady volunteered, and so we posed and she very kindly took our picture.
We thanked her as she started to leave, and she turned and said that they were on their way to another state for the funeral of her nephew, who had been tragically killed in an auto accident that week. I could see that she was about to cry. Suddenly I felt guilty for our giddiness in the face of her sorrow, but of course, we did not know. The Holy Spirit prompted me to embrace her, and to tell her that we would pray for her. As I wrapped my arms around her, I could feel her holding on to me with such emotion...she truly needed that hug...and she thanked me for the promise of the prayers. It was as if there was a transference of energy between us in that moment of time...a Holy Transfer...and as we separated I was almost overcome with emotion myself. I realized that I needed that hug as well...it was as if I could feel her pain and sorrow...and then it dawned on me. It wasn't all that long ago that my own precious son left this earth for heaven and there have been many occasions that I truly needed a hug, and others were there for me.
After we all parted and went our separate ways, I couldn't get this dear one off of my mind. I wondered if she thought I was crazy for hugging a complete stranger. But I realized that it wasn't really me...it was JESUS reaching out to her through me. It was His Holy Spirit prompting me to action. It was a divine sense of empathy, actually feeling her pain, that caused me to spring into action.
This Jesus, the "babe in the manger" whose birth we celebrate each Christmas, grew up to sacrifice His life for us...and He is acquainted with our sorrows and grief. Isaiah the prophet told us long before Jesus' birth that He would do this for us:
- Don't be afraid to open your heart to the sorrow of others
- Listen to the prompting of God's Holy Spirit when He speaks to your heart
- Obey that prompting...don't hold back because of fear that you will be misunderstood
- Let others see the Jesus living in you! That is what Christmas is all about....Jesus came to earth to draw us to Himself...and to save us...and to live through us so that others will be saved and find rest for their souls.