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Thursday, December 24, 2015

Your DYing Spouse 97- Real Christmas

Before I start, I'd like to ask you to visit the blog of my dear writing friend Joe Pote, who's just been diagnosed with throat cancer. Please leave an encouraging comment for him...and please remember him in your prayers. His blog, 'Redeemed', is a Christian standout.

I recently heard, on Trinity Broadcasting, that Christmas is about family, beginning with the Holy Family, and extending to our own families.

People go to great lengths to be together for Christmas, putting up with sometimes dreadful traveling ambiance, and battling weather that would make a saint cry.

Indeed, yes...but here, standing on the edge of Eternity, I'm not so sure.

Families, you see, move on. It takes engagement to be a part of things - even within a marriage - and the swirl of life, especially in this season, calls for the ability to participate.

And while I'm treated wonderfully, I simply can't participate. Not to be melodramatic, but I'm a fading wallflower.

It's good to be able to be a spectator, seeing others' happiness (and sometimes querulousness!), but the feeling's a bit hollow. Like I'm on the harbor's shore, watching the boats setting out on a rising tide.

It's similar for the caregiver, who's tied by both love and obligation to a fixed point...or to a sinking anchor, to continue the nautical parallel.

So what is Christmas, now? If it's not to be a somewhat bleak day and a reminder of mortality...what can the dying and the caregiver make of it?

Perhaps the answer is to be found in the Magi's arrival, and the gifts they brought.

They surely could have expected no celebration, or if they did, they were quickly disabused. And yet they came, and knelt at Mary's feet as she held the Child that would change the world. Not change the world...

SAVE the world.

That salvation would would take up the trappings of royalty, in the golden and sweet-smelling days of Jesus ministry.

And it would come with a terrible cost, a body annointed in myrrh.

And there, I think, is the meaning. Our days, both sick and well, can hold delight in their pleasant fragrance and the riches offered by love and hope, but beyond that is the portal through which we have to pass.

The Magi knew that. So did Mary, and so did Joseph.One hopes that Jesus slept the innocent sleep of the Infant, and didn't think about it just then.

And thus, the meaning. What Christmas means is the promise.

The promise of life, with all of its opportunities, and of the death we all must face...

...and of the Rising that will come, because that Child became The Man who blazed the trail for us.

For the terminally ill, it's quite literal. Death is constantly at one's elbow, but Christmas Day was the beginning of the end for that Last Enemy.

And for the caregiver, it's the promise that this, too, will pass. The heartache will come, the body will be anointed, but the shadows will clear, and the sun will shine again...an emotional resurrection, when the loved one is finally placed in the hands of God.

Because, you see, Christmas isn't about family, and it isn't about a day.

Christmas is about process, the process that saved all of us.

As something of a gift to y'all, here is my very favourite Christmas song...it's relatively new, "Better Days" by the Goo Goo Dolls (which has to be the worst name for a band, ever).

If you can.please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.

Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links (they're 99 cents each). And if you'd like a free PDF, please email me at tempusfugit02 (at) gmail (dot) com, and I'll gladly send them


  1. Thanks for sharing the video and link. God bless you and thank you for being a blessing to us.

    1. Jan, thank you so much...and especially for visiting on Christmas Day!

  2. This is one of the most powerful perspectives on Christmas I've ever read. I appreciate your insight so much. Praying for you!

    1. Sarah, thank you...I truly appreciate your comment, and your taking the time to be here on Christmas Day.

      And thank you for the prayers. As I write this...I need them.

  3. This is one of the most powerful perspectives on Christmas I've ever read. I appreciate your insight so much. Praying for you!

  4. Beautiful, touching words, Andrew! Love how you brought it all together! Appreciate your perspective, and sharing the video as well!

    Prayers, my friend!

    1. Barbara, thank you, and I'm so glad you enjoyed the video!

      Thank you for the prayers. They're very much needed...pain's ramped up to 'unendurable'.

      But one must still go on.

  5. I love this: "Our days, both sick and well, can hold delight in their pleasant fragrance and the riches offered by love and hope, but beyond that is the portal through which we have to pass." Thank you so much for sharing.

    1. Leslie, thank you. Your kind words, and your presence, they mean the world to me.

  6. Oh, Andrew, you are so right, it IS about the process. And seeing that, we are reminder that it is so with each of our lives. May we be blessed to have the focus our Savior had, that eternal perspective that brings peace for each day. May that peace be yours, brother.

    1. June, I love this..."May we be blessed to have the focus our Saviour had, that eternal perspective that brings peace to each day." Just perfect!

      As I write this, I'm dealing with pain that can only be described as ghastly...but I am at peace, the peace that comes from John 3:16.

      Thank you so much for being here!

  7. This is so profound, "Christmas is about the process". It most certainly is. You are such a blessing. I pray for you often Andrew. May God continue you hold you up and offer strength to you.