They are saying, in a thousand different ways, in a thousand different voices, that something is feeling not quite right, not quite merry, not quite real, not quite happy.
So let's talk for a moment about the darkstuff. It doesn't come from God, by the way. It comes from us. The longing is ours. The aching is ours. God hasn't sent it. God offers us peace and bliss. We simply don't believe that, so we ache. End of story.
Suffering is concommitant with being human. As all of you have probably noticed by now, this world is not a fair place. It is a dance between light & dark: a world of opposites. In such a world, there is scant room for Peace. How could there be? Peace obliterates suffering. But we, we cook up a thousand ways to suffer every day. Peace watches us doing that and says, "Oh, OK, have it your way."
Those of you who are feeling pain look out at the ones who seem to have it all, and think: "Oh! I am lacking, Everyone else is all settled in & roasty-toasty, but I am not. The comparison gnaws. Because something vital seems to be missing: a child, a love, a job, an opportunity, simple health, more lights for your tree.
Holidays should be perfect (don't magazines and television tell us so?) --but somehow, for some reason, yours isn't. Your holiday has holes in it. Even stones.
So here's a reminder of the facts: there are holes and stones in everyone's holiday. Yes, everyone's.
Unquestionably there are sweet moments, tender moments, excited moments, even divine moments playing out right now beneath thousands of Christmas rooftops. But that's not the end of it. There's more.
More? Yes, more. There are also tedious moments, tense moments, put on your partysmile until it hurts moments. There are "Oh God- won't she ever leave me alone?" moments. There are "It cost HOWMUCH?" moments. There are, "You mean you forgot to get sour cream?" moments. There are relatives & acquaintances you don't wanna see moments. There are cross, cranky children moments. There are cross, cranky adult moments. There are swallowed hurt moments. There are "can't ANYONE here see the real me?" moments. There are empty but mandatory parties moments. There are long boring sermon moments. There are cleaning up the livingroommess moments. There are fake goodcheer moments - tons of them.
And during all of this broad, vibrant tapestry of bright lights, cool clothes, fancy food and high octane greetings-- how many authentic communications happen, do you think? How many eyes really touch? Think.
Not many. Some. But not many.
So if you're feeling left out, with a chill in your spine over not-enoughness, remember this:
There is no bliss out there, anywhere, unless you first find it deep inside your own soul. And then hand it out.