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Coffee Shops, Frank Sinatra, and Immanuel

Christmas is a season of shining lights, glittery ornaments, and glowing candles.  We celebrate Jesus’ coming as the light of the world, but it can be a dark season, a time of tears for some whose hearts are still tender from a recent loss.  Even if we’re not feeling the “Christmas joy,”  God is right there with us.  Today I’m sharing a story about loss and comfort written by Brockie, one of the women in my prayer group.

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Ever have those moments that come from nowhere. You know, those moments of grief and loss that are overwhelming, and you couldn’t have seen them coming from a hundred miles away?  I had one of those today in the coffee shop.  Frank Sinatra music was playing, and I found myself lost in my dad’s voice, singing with his quartet . . .

“and then I go and say something stupid like I love you.”

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I sat with my three-year-old daughter by my side, wishing Dad was here to hear her sing “Away in a Manger” a hundred times this season.  I kept thinking how much he would love to watch my high-school-aged daughter make that left handed lay up that looks so smooth in her basketball games.

How proud Dad would be of the older boys and their academic accomplishments, as well as the wonderful young men they have become (all the while wearing the great socks that he would give them at Christmas time).  So if this is your first Christmas without a loved one or your 50th, I pray you will find the words of Isaiah, repeated by Matthew to be comforting:

The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God with us’).   Matthew 1:23   NIV

May you find God’s presence near to you in the middle of your grief and sorrow, and may you know you are not alone.  Blessings!

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Photos by Barb Briggs

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