Blue Christmas3 min read

Do you know someone that is not feeling so “merry” this Christmas?

How do we comfort those suffering in the midst of everyone around them celebrating?

The Winter Solstice is December 21. This is the longest night of the year. The word “solstice” comes from the Latin word sol (meaning sun), and sistere (meaning to stand still). To stand still in pain, loss, grief, or even isolation can be overwhelming, fearful, exhausting, and paralyzing. If someone you know is in pain, it may seem to them that it will never end.

So what do we do for people that are in such a difficult place during this time of year? What resources are there for us and our loved ones that are in such need of grace and mercy? The easy answer to this is Christ, right? Yes, but what does that look like? What can we do? Some people seem to want to DO something, even if it ends up being the wrong thing.

The world tells us that we will escape or eliminate suffering if WE do something about it. But when we look to Christ for the answer, we find that we can do nothing without Him. Because if we look inward, we find sin and realize that we need forgiveness.

As Christians, we are called to walk alongside our loved ones through their times of suffering—even during this time of year when we celebrate our Lord’s birth. It is in the midst of suffering that we hold steadfast to our Savior. It is in suffering that we find Him. We find our strength and hope in Christ.

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So what CAN we do?

If we find our loved ones suffering, we can pray for guidance and wisdom, because God knows their needs. Then we can reassure them that in Christ we find strength and willingness to carry on. That reassurance could happen in the form of bringing a meal to them; spending time with them; not trying to fix or change where they are, but rather comforting them where they stand still; meeting them where they are, not where we think they should be.

It could also be in the form of praying and reading Scripture with them. They need to hear the Gospel to help with their pain. Share Bible verses that assure them that Christ is always there. Use God’s Word to comfort them. Be honest, but also careful of what you do say. How many times have you heard someone say, “God won’t give you anything you can’t handle?” Ugh! That is the worst thing you could tell someone in pain! First of all, that phrase is not in the Bible. Second, God does give us things we can’t handle. That’s why we go to Him—because we can’t handle it.

Maybe your church could add a special worship service for people that might need to worship in a different way during this time of year? It could be on December 21. It could be about hope and where to find it. It could be about how we draw near to our Lord when we are in pain, reminding them that Christ, too, felt deep grief. He died for them. He is with them.

I used those words with a lady that I was ministering to not long ago. She asked, “Why are you doing all these things for me?” I replied, “Because He did them for me.”

Photo courtesy of Elisa Schulz Photography

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About the Author

Christie Hansard, RN, BSN, is the Mental Health Case Manager and the Parish Nurse Ministries representative for the Michigan District, LCMS. She is a member of Faith, Grand Blanc.

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