Christmas music fills the air. In the early years of grief, some like to crank up the tunes at the first sign of Christmas while others can’t bring themselves to listen. I was surprised when I found myself in that latter situation. Music is powerful. It makes us laugh, cry, and brings us to our knees in worship.
Amy Grant spoke great truth with her Christmas song, Grown-up Christmas List:
“No more lives torn apart, then wars would never start and time would heal all hearts. And everyone would have a friend. And right would always win. And love would never end. This is my grown-up Christmas list.”
The widow’s list follows that same vein. Oh, the wishes she carries in her heart that only God can see and hear. Friends and family hurt when she hurts, especially because they are unable to give her the deep desires of her heart. God is able to satisfy her deepest need although there are ways to take her list and offer compassion in meaningful ways.
The widow’s Christmas list and meaningful ways to engage with her:
- I wish that I could hear my husband’s voice just one more time.
• Tell stories of the impact her husband made on your life.
- I wish that he would walk in the door.
• Walk into her life in practical ways: bring a meal, extend an invitation, offer a helping hand.
- I wish that we could have one more unhurried conversation.
• Ask questions that give her permission to share what’s on her heart.
- I wish that I could hear his laugh.
• Remind her of the ways her husband brought her joy.
• Invite her to a game night where she can experience fun with others.
- I wish that he were here to hold me close.
• Touch is powerful. Take her hands when offering up a prayer. Give her a hug and tell her that she’s doing a good job.
- I wish that he were here to help me make that decision.
• Listen as she shares the decisions she is trying to make and connect her with wise counsel or resources needed.
- I wish that he could see our children all grown up.
• Tell her children that their dad would be proud. Tell her that she is doing a great job balancing so many things.
- I wish that he could see the faithfulness of God in our lives.
• Celebrate with her the faithfulness of God.
- I wish that he could see the changes for good that I have made.
• Thank God with her for the gift of grace and the gifts that come with grief.
- I wish that I could tell him how much I love and miss him.
• Remind her that she is deeply loved by God.