Before we got up yesterday morning, we could hear the rain falling outside our bedroom window. When my husband brought me my morning drink, he said,
"Well it's not raining, after all."
My mind was slowly beginning to actually wake up and I replied with a question,
Fresh fallen snow, looks beautiful; the sound of falling snow is magical; getting wrapped up in warm clothing, stepping out, and hearing the crunch underfoot as you step into the fresh snow for the first time, is a wonderful feeling. All the time we are in the warm, looking out, we can see the loveliness of the while blanket. Then there is the laughter of the fun of making snowmen, snowballing, sledging and so on. How wonderful it all is. Or is it?
So often we look at others and think that everything is well with them, they have everything they need, or could possibly want. We can feel resentful of their fortune and wonder why on earth they have any reason to be miserable, especially if we don't have anywhere near what they have.
As temperatures plummet, snow turns to ice, accidents happen; we expereince fear and destruction; people are cold; and in some places, everything grinds to a standstill. Picturesque snow is really not what it appears to be.
So it is with our lives. Sometimes those of us who appear to have much, in reality, don't. Having much, like beautiful snow, doesn't automatically mean that all is well. It could all be a facade and underneath that beautiful life, there is sometimes much pain and desolation, if only we would scratch the surface.
It is not always possible to be able to tell what is going on in each others' lives but we do often judge them by what we see. Nor is it always within our power to change things for them. What we can do is listen and take the time to find out what is really going on, be a friendly ear in times of trouble.
It is very easy to judge, and even easier to judge incorrectly. In the Bible (Matthew 7) we are told not to judge because we will also be judged, and the measure we use will be the measure we are judged by. Matthew tells us that we need to take the plank out of our own eye before we can see clearly to remove the speck from our brothers.
So...for Christmas, why don't we try to look below the surface to get a deeper understanding of those around us; taking care not make assumptions or judgements about others by what we see on the surface?
Perhaps we could also go deeper into the meaning of Christmas this year and realise that it's true meaning is not the food, gifts and wrappings, but the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, and that He is God's gift to us to last, not just for Christmas, but for eternity.