Hurting – we can help

On the way back from North Carolina last week we marveled again at the extent of advertising on major highways. The three day tour helping a friend was quick, but the roads back were treacherous.
On the horizon amongst the snow we saw a slogan about hurting, and offering to help. It was for a lawyer’s office which was in itself a bit of comic relief at that point of the long drive home. The distraction did provide us with some time to think a bit, as is our nature. If only troubles and pain could be solved with a phone call. Of course, there is something to be said for perspective. One person’s crisis would be a welcome relief for people in dire straits.
Holiday time seems to amplify hurts. This holiday there will be those coming to terms with illness. Getting better or getting worse are thoughts close at hand for family and friends suffering through medical issues. The prospect of not having another Christmas will no doubt loom heavy on those in such a position. Even folks that have lost a loved one might reflect on missing the opportunity to really enjoy what the season had to offer last year. The message here should be to make the most of each holiday.
As often happens, people have a way of leaving things unsaid or undone. Regrettably, many families will choose pride over hurting. Slights and wounds from times past might cause an empty place or two at the table this year. Time has a way of looking after troubles, and time apart, however difficult, makes for better times later.
Of course, this time of year also is particularly tough for those facing financial problems. It is very easy to suggest being happy with what one might have, but the inability to give makes it hard on struggling families. Health and still having others for comfort is the greatest gift of all, but it is tough sometimes to see that.
One of the old family stories we have is our grandmother being given a few dollars to go to town and buy presents. She would have been very young at that point during the Great Depression. Sure, the barn would have been full of animals and the root cellar full of canned preserves, but cash was in scarce supply.
Those were very different times and people were frugal because they had to be. There wasn’t a Wal-Mart or Dollar Store at hand, and shoppers did not have shelf after shelf of selection. Most stories end up being a bit muddled after years of passing them down, but the gist is she bought a Santa in Fergus that was missing a leg – because it was on sale. Knowing her kind ways and eternal optimism it was as simple as looking at the Santa the right way and it would not matter that the character was imperfect. Few people today would make such a choice but those were the times. How many of us would even receive such a gift without a second look or perhaps a sour face. It’s all about perspective.
There is no question the holiday season gives an opportunity for all of us to help those who are hurting.
In order to do that, we need to be aware of the plight facing neighbours, friends, and family. The only way to do that is to spend a little time watching and listening. Few will come right out and talk about their troubles, but a watchful eye and a keen ear might uncover a hurt that can be eased.
Although each of us has probably done things for others this season, like sponsoring families down on their luck, or helping out a friend, there is more to be done. Maybe, just maybe, if we use the logic of the Santa without a leg and help others see the good side, we can bring some peace to others.
People that are hurting deserve your help.
On behalf of our Publisher and staff, please accept our best wishes for a Merry Christmas.