UnderneathBEGGAR271209432 the bright lights and tinsel and strains of “I’ll be home for Christmas” invisible to the harried shoppers stressed by a society that celebrate consumerism and therefore dictates the urgency to buy this and buy that “only 12 more shopping days left;” are those for whom Christmas is nothing but a time of painful flashbacks and present day despair. A season of self medicating, solitary isolation and suicide ideation. A time to remember a family long gone or never there. A time to remember a life ravaged by drugs, abuse and self sabotage. A time to remember missed opportunities, lost jobs, calamities and misfortune. As as follower of Jesus Christ for me everyday is Christmas and everyday is Easter. Daily I want to celebrate his birth, death and resurrection. I do not have a single happy childhood Christmas memory. My happy Christmas memories started when as a follower of Jesus I spend this season among his poor and wounded in our inner-city. I start Christmas day in prayer or at a church then I walk the downtown streets for a few hours inviting those I meet sitting in doorways on the the heating vents to come for food and fellowship and St. George’s. Then I come and chat with the folks who come to the Christmas dinner there. The late afternoon and sometimes evening I spend opening up OIM’s street health clinic to minister to the many who come with upset stomachs from gorging themselves on rich food that they’re bodies are not used to. When the antacid runs out I call it a day and go home to my cats and my own memories; thanking God I’ve survived another Christmas day. I pray that we would all find ways to soothe the broken hearted this Christmas season.