Wanted to wait to write and send this sad Christmas story, but so important for processing grief in a broken world by writing about the One who understands brokenness…
A Blue Christmas
I took that last trip to the store for gift cards for my teenager’s Christmas stockings, left the store to the sound of sirens. Ah, Santa I thought must be starting early this year in our section riding his fire truck on EVERY road in our neighborhoods. I started to drive back home but didn’t expect police cars whizzing past us on the busiest most dangerous byway of our county. A sight not of Santa’s RED fire trucks but BLUE lights, a road blockade of BLUE volunteer firefighter cars with their lights, redirecting traffic. This was not just a big accident, this horrific accident on Christmas Eve claimed the lives of two teenagers. A truly BLUE Christmas of sadness, an unimaginable pain for these families. Their names Tyler and Matthew.
The Christmas eve afternoon and Christmas eve night, I heard those sirens again, but this time I knew it really was Santa. Firefighting Santas never disappoint the kids. Santa’s helpers are brave men and women, many volunteers serving in sacrifice to help others, including our loved ones. I sat in church that evening for candlelight services, hearing more fire company parade sirens, thinking God Bless those emergency responders… Oh how hard this day was for them too. How to come upon this car accident scene on Christmas Eve, how to deal with their grief. They are family folks community saints. How tirelessly they serve then STILL find the energy to put on the annual Santa parade, knowing life must go on.
Sacrifice we know is the practical Way that God Himself on Christmas entered this world as a baby. Sacrifice as a goal, the baby Christ child grew up, knowing the plan to save the people who would look to God thru Him. Peace not in this world but ETERNAL PEACE promised by His Heaven-sent teachings.
Christmas Day I felt compelled to walk up to the growing memorial, had felt that way all day. I had finished the marathon Christmas crunch of preparations and gift opening, knowing the news coming from social media said that 2 teens had died, not just one. Held my own teens closer in my heart that day knowing they were safe. Praised God more. So I walked to the memorial for prayer and presence. How could we barely imagine the mourning of these parents for these kids. Oh precious, the families had raised a memorial of a Christmas tree, sign, flowers, and the young man Tyler’s hat. I hung one of the provided ornaments, a blue one, and I had brought some blue “PEACE” ornaments just because. I saw angel wings on the sign and an angel on the tree. Driving by, I will try to continually pray for these families – and pray for them to know that the angels surely witnessed the Hand of God taking their sons HOME, making them now WHOLE in Him. They rest in peace.
For all our loved ones whom we miss tearfully this Christmas, let us add a prayer for all to know this deeper meaning of Christmas. May we all be held by Heaven’s Hope and want to be amazed at heavenly hosts of angels and a Savior born in our own hearts for us to cherish. His guiding STAR does SHINE in our hearts to help us find PEACE.