Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Living Between the Holidays

The week between Christmas and New Year's Day is the oddest time of the year. Do you go back to work? You're all out of sorts in terms of your schedule. Everything is just weird.

But life goes on for the living. Right now there are children being born. Right now there are families gathered in hospital rooms saying goodbye. Somebody got married today. Somebody else got divorced.

It seems like a lot of my friends are in pain this week. One friend's mother had a stroke. Another friend's mother is in the hospital with Alzheimer's. One friend is struggling with addiction. One friend just lost a baby. One friend is suffering from some mysterious illness, suffering chronic pain that keeps him awake at night.

In the midst of all our Christmas spirit, we dare not lose sight of the Passion of the Christ. The strangeness found between Christmas and New Year's Day is similar to that found between Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday. We live on Saturday. We live between the holidays.

In those between times is life -- life with sickness, life with suffering, life with sorrow and confusion. Life as we know it. We yearn for the dawning of a new day -- a day filled with promise -- a day that will certainly be better than today. And that day will come; that much is certain.

But for now, we cling to the hope that the next holy day is on its way.