No lights twinkle and no tree can be found in the parsonage. No gifts are bought. The smell of freshly baked cookies won’t be wafting from the kitchen before — or after — Christmas. Yep, it’s December again and I’m a pastor.
Maybe I’m blue because of my nest; it’s been empty now for over a decade. Maybe I’m blue because of the increased demands on a pastor during this time of year. Though, hard work is not inherently discouraging to me.
Maybe I’m blue because of the memories. My mother who died thirteen years ago, personified Christmas joy and, to be sure, loving extravagance. Maybe I’m blue because my chaplain wife — who will work Christmas Day — and I lead a two-town lifestyle filled with 180-mile roundtrips so that we can both do the ministry to which we’re called. Maybe it’s just the grey weather and short days.
I’m blue but I’m not alone. In this season which demands unceasing happiness in its expectations, many of us struggle. Some feign and fake smiles and laughter and go home and weep. Some move in and out and back into melancholy. Some wear blue like a too-heavy overcoat.
I’m blue but I’m not alone. I’m blue but I’m beloved by God.
And so today, I sit within my azure-tinted mood. I embrace the tears; I feel and notice the weight. I accept it without trying to change it. I love myself and am kind to myself.