MY GROWN UP CHRISTMAS LIST

I did my painting "Bonds," after my father's death.

I did my painting “Bonds,” after my father’s death. It symbolizes my relationship with my father. I loved my father who was far from perfect. Love covers a multitude of sins.

I got an early gift from my grown up Christmas list. After many years, two family members are now in the process of reconciling with one another. While I was rejoicing over that, I thought of a family member who at odds with me. Of course, I was in the right. That is always our excuse. Sadly, unforgiveness is common among families. Behind all the Christmas joy, cards, gifts, and carols, a note of bitterness rings.

I wish that we grown ups would not carry the hurts of childhood into our adulthood. It only stunts our spiritual growth and hinders emotional stability.

Parents are imperfect people. Why hold grudges against people who maybe dead and in most cases meant no harm. How about siblings who no longer speak to one another carrying childhood hurts into the present?

Even if the harm was intentional there’s no benefit in being angry with someone who has moved on to other things while you linger in the past. Whether the offender is dead or alive it doesn’t matter, moving forward requires forgiveness.

I am glad Christmas comes before the New Year. Christmas offers us a new start and we can give others a new start just before the New Year begins.

Christmas also gives us a fresh chance to be more God-centered and less self-centered if we focus on the child in the manger. Christmas by its very nature is the essence of forgiveness. Sometimes forgiveness means giving up our rights. That’s what Jesus did.

So, I made amends with my family member. As the say goes: “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.”

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