You’ve seen the commercial. Yep – you know the one! It’s the one where you go through that entire box of tissues. This week’s Media Monday features the song behind a popular television commercial this time of year called “Dad”. It’s a precious reminder about time and how easily we can slip into forgetting the parts of our past that made us who we are. All the parts!
What extreme measures this papa takes to jog his childrens’ memories. How easily we forget that the lives we now live were formed by the experiences, lessons, and love from our past – especially from our parents. They gave us the tools and the means to succeed as we embarked on creating new beginnings for ourselves. The very selves that get so caught up with the everyday, mundane things that we think are so important, until one day we realize the moment is no longer there. The moment where we didn’t get to say thank you. The moment we didn’t grab that extra hug. The moment we didn’t listen to the story. We are not promised tomorrow, every moment is a gift.
I’ve watched as these past couple of years have divided families through physical relocation or misunderstandings. Life seems so upside down. Busyness becomes our way of life. Being right becomes more important than the relationship. Forgiveness is what we seek from God, but not something we afford our brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers. Each and every experience, good or challenging, is a lesson to stretch and grow – an opportunity to prepare our hearts to draw closer to Christ. What walls have we put around our hearts? Do the memories they hold shut others out or leave an opening where more can come in?
I saw this post floating around social media and it hit me. With every loss – physical or emotional – something is lost within each of us. Words matter. Memories matter. Time together matters. And we don’t always get that second chance on time.
Whether busyness or past hurts cause our separation, we owe it to ourselves to take a pause during the Advent season; to assess our hearts and remember those whom God has given to us. The pain of our hurt is the result of a life filled with love. It wouldn’t hurt so much if our hearts didn’t know that love to begin with. Communication is hard. Life is hard. Love shouldn’t be hard.
I remember as a young girl driving with my mom and dad through our neighborhood during the Christmas season to look at the homes bedecked with lights. As a child, it was the outside lights that delighted me, but as I grew, there was a draw to the faint glow that came from the inside. I couldn’t wait to have a home of my own. Thoughts of a warm fireplace and laughter around the table were the visions that danced in my head.
That dream came true. I grew up, got married, had children, and the warm fireplace and laughter around the table became my reality. But these years are bound to pass, my friend. This year, we begin our lives as empty-nesters, and those warm and cozy visions are the lights in my children’s eyes as they embark on building new dreams of their own.
I think of my own mom and dad – how hard it must’ve been as the season of their own lives changed. While I was busy with building my own life and caring for my own children, time slipped through my hands. I’m blessed to still have them here – to say thank you. To hear the stories. To give the hug. Soon, they will come to live with me, a gift that not many get to experience. Life doesn’t always come full circle for everyone. They’re robbed of the this precious gift.
Week Two of Advent and I’m pondering the word “WALL”. The memories we make are often inside the physical walls of our homes. Some are hard, others warm and comforting, and then there are ones filled with loneliness and regret. This week, we light the Peace candle; peace inside of us, in our relationships, and bringing it into our world.
We are each made in the image and likeness of God and we are told that when we do for the least of these, we do for Christ himself. How are we preparing to receive Christ into our hearts? Is there a call we need to make? A hand to extend? Forgiveness to offer?
Or will we choose to add to the wall and build a lifetime of regret?