Pastor Ebenezer
Photo by Tim Graves. Creative Commons license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/

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.

I’m blue.

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.

One thought on “Pastor Ebenezer

  1. Tim, for the first time in all of my 29 years I could empathize. I too struggled at first this year and typically I more resemble Cindy Lou Who driving all in my household crazy withshopping bags galore, 15 totes of decor exemplifying every known part of Christmas, 3 trees, 4 nativities, 3 santas, ribbon, glitter and so much other stuff (admittingly it’s a little excessive and crazy).but two weeks ago this year I genuinely really didn’t care all that much. Call it the winter blues? I tried everything! Including a bottle of wine … or two… which helped a bit lol anyway, Andrew calls me late last week and says “Babe, I know you already picked up stuff for the Salvation Army kids, but there’s a tree at work with some kids still on it. Cool if I grab 1?” It took a moment but then like The Grinch I felt my heart grow 3 sizes. probably bc my hubs is a pretty awesome guy too but I replied, “Grab 2!”. So off we went to Toys R Us last night and I’ll tell you what, that did it. Sure it may be what some call commercialism but truly I don’t give a %*&$. It made me happy knowing we were making others happy. Anyway I just wanted you to know you’re not alone, but your thing is out there and your moment will come. God likes to test us it seems. While quite annoying if you ask me, He’s got a plan for your Ah-Ha moment. Can’t wait to read about it 🙂

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