Thursday, December 22, 2005


Heart's Desire 2006

By Janice Price

It is hard to think of the Christmas season without thinking of children - excited children surrounded by the love of their extended families. This year thousands of children survived one of America’s tornados, floods, or hurricanes, such as Hurricane Katrina, but lost everything familiar to them – their homes, schools, churches, friends, neighbors, toys and pets. Many are hundreds or thousands of miles away from familiar places, as their parents struggle to keep their families together and build a new life for themselves and their children.

This year has also been hard for a number of adults, for a variety of reasons: a death in the family, loss of a career, declining health, being caretaker of an aging parent or a disabled child ….

This year a friend is again struggling with depression. One of her sons killed himself a few days before Christmas. That happened eighteen years ago, but he was her son and the pain of losing a child never completely heals.

Yes, this year has been filled with bad news and tragedy. Many lives remain in limbo. Hard-working homeowners have mortgages payments due, even though they no longer have a home. Folks who worked hard to be self-supporting have watched their life savings disappear, while their homeowner’s insurance company quibbles over whether what is left of the roof was ever actually attached to walls and a foundation. The need for help and compassion will continue well into the new year.

The year has also been filled with magnanimous expressions of generosity and love toward strangers, churches helping other churches and people of differing beliefs working together toward a common goal - to help the uprooted and those in need. It is inspiring to reflect on the selflessness manifested by so many in times of disaster.

The faith of many was tested and strengthened. Some found faith in crisis. Others are still searching.

Whatever the year was like for each of us, individually, the hope of a Christian is not in our circumstances. This life is temporary and there will always be things happen that are beyond our control.

As we grow in Christ, we have more to offer others in crisis, even if we do not have the means to make financial donations. We can pray about the situations of others, write notes of encouragement, carry prepared meals, help with housecleaning, offer rides to appointments – the list is endless.

After the natural disasters of this year, and as the new year fast approaches, I find my heart’s desire for 2006 is to have an abundance of everything to share with those in need, including a loving heart, a listening ear and a non-judgmental spirit.

What is your heart’s desire for the year 2006?

© 2005 Janice Price

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