What is it like to be unfamiliar with the warm security of the love of a fellow human? I can’t say for sure, but I imagine it to be like an arctic tundra: cold, barren, non-nourishing, and no particular points of interest. Except worse. No hope of a home somewhere offering relief.
Ever felt like that? I don’t know many, if any, people for whom this is truly accurate, but I’m afraid I know lots of people who have experienced this at some point, at least for a moment. When a loved one dies, when parents divorce, when someone chooses something else over their relationship with you. The cold, biting wind of loneliness is not deterred by anything you can wear, or drink, or eat. It goes right through – chilling your soul. Even people can’t necessarily shield you from it. Sometimes they only make it worse.
Sometimes the more they try, the worse it is. Like unwanted charity. Like someone trying to force the introverted child to play silly games with the loud kids at a birthday party.
The illusion of being unloved. It is, by and large, an illusion. Another way people suffer under this illusion is by not recognizing the love offered to them. The foster child sometimes falls into this trap with his foster parents, because based on real experience, he is convinced that no one actually cares, even when they act like it. The child who is bullied and picked on is subject to this misunderstanding because she sees her friends laughing at her at lunch time, and then when someone shows real love, she refuses to let them get close enough to hurt her like the last ones did.
There are few things as penetrating as that icy wind of being unloved at this time of year. The tv shows and movies show people enjoying one another’s company by warm fires, with warm drinks, plenty of food, and warm hearts. It hurts to hear “Merry Christmas!” when you know you won’t have one because you will spend it alone in an empty room, or in a room full of people who can’t tell you’re drowning. Or in a celebration, with that one person missing. Or when you can’t go home to a family with open arms.
You, sitting there by yourself at you computer, or looking at your phone in the middle of a crowd.
YOU are worthy of love.
You are loved. Your love may show up in a different way than you imagined; someone may be showing it in an unexpected way. But this idea that you are so different that you can’t absorb love is a lie. Don’t believe it.
Christmas is all about this. Your very Creator loves you. And Christmas is when He shed His Glory as God just to live with us and feel what we experience, and then take our suffering upon Himself. You are made to be loved. Merry Christmas.