Emmanuel

A couple of nights ago I woke up at 3:20am and didn’t really get back to sleep. I started thinking about events relating to my Dad’s passing and felt deep pain. That was it, I was awake and there was no going back to sleep so I got up. I went downstairs and opened my computer to see the breaking news about the UK joining the air strikes on Syria.

What a world we live in.

It’s a good time to be reading the book of Daniel in the bible, which reminds us so very clearly how people who think they have all the power, ultimately do not, and the being who does is GOOD.

I was sent the link to a blog this week written by a woman who lost her husband almost a year ago. Suddenly and unexpectedly; he was healthy one minute and gone the next. He was 30 and they had a two-year-old and she was pregnant with their second child.

What a world.

This week hasn’t been easy. My husband hasn’t been well and my son has been quite challenging. I found myself quite quickly feeling sorry for myself. I had organised a nice advent experience for J (husband) and the kids and what with my son’s angry and aggressive behavior and J’s understandable aloofness due to a mouth full of ulcer’s and general rough feeling, I noticed some unpleasant reactions and realised something about myself that I had kind of reflected on a couple of weeks ago but not really lingered on it. I think I was in denial, it’s not that fun to reflect on our weaknesses and how we might change.

So here it is: I am afraid of being overlooked.

Did you ever hear that song as a kid that went:

“Nobody loves me, everybody hates me, I’m going to eat some worms.”

That’s all I know of it, I don’t even know if there’s more to it. Why would you eat worms? To make a point? Get attention? Anyway, this nonsensical song sometimes pops into my head and this week I realised it popped in my head just as I was entertaining that kind of thinking…nobody loves me. Obviously I know in my head people love me. But as we all know, love is a verb, yet people don’t always have the capacity to show their love for us so that we feel it. We need to somehow manage to love others and sacrifice ourselves to help them through their difficulties, or pain.

Pain disconnects us. From love and from each other. I’ve always been very impressed by the writers of the American drama House because they managed to create a watchable and gripping series that has an incredibly unlikeable, dispassionate and downright mean central character. Yes, his sarcasm is funny but he does some downright reckless things and we are constantly questioning, does he really care? No, it’s just about solving a puzzle and not failing… Oh but he seems to care… Oh no, he doesn’t, they’ve just pulled the rug out again. The source of his isolating lack of human kindness? His constant pain.

The problem is, pain is inevitable. Rejection, hardship, loss, illness… it’s all going to happen.

I need to feel loved but people around me can’t always do that for me, consistently, perfectly, reliably, unselfishly.

I read a book this week in which the main character rediscovers her faith after losing her Mum and there is a bit about the name of God we often hear at Christmas: Emmanuel – God with us. The real life woman who lost her husband wrote a post about this, which I also read this week.

God with us. I’ve always overlooked this having heard it over and over at Christmas and its significance lost in the hype and repetition. During what will be a painful Christmas, I will take comfort in reflecting on this, Emmanuel.

God with us. He cares, He’s present, He loves perfectly and doesn’t overlook me. He doesn’t promise an easy life, but He will be with us in it all.

I was lying on the sofa and my son came downstairs when dawn broke on my sleepless night. My daughter was already up and my son came over and said out of nowhere, “I love you Mummy.” Then he gave me a kiss. My daughter pipes up, “my turn!” and gives me a kiss. So my son kisses me again, “my turn” and before I know it I’m laughing as I receive kiss after kiss, smack on my lips. It was just what I needed.

A provision of love and laughter.

God with me.

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