It was quite the flurry of activity over here yesterday. With all the prep for our Christgiving celebration, and pulling out toys and baby gear for the littles, we were all busy both inside and out. The Christmas music was playing, and I was whipping together a pecan pie, when Kevin got a call from Maddie. He stopped what he was doing, threw on his coat and ran out the door. We live on a ranch, and there are often times when she needs an extra set of hands with a horse, so I didn’t think much of it.

About an hour later, he came back in and told me that she’d trailered Bud, our great big paint horse, into the vet (yes, we actually have an equine emergency medical facility, close by, that is always open). Surprised, I asked what had happened, and he told me that Bud had a sudden onset of colic that they couldn’t walk out. You don’t mess with colic in a horse if you can’t seem to work them through it.

Before too long, we got a call from Maddie, saying that it appeared Bud had a tumor that was killing his bowel. There was already a large portion of it that had died, and even with surgery, he didn’t have a good prognosis, estimating that within about 8 hours he’d die on his own in excruciating pain. The merciful decision was made to put Bud down, and soon, a somber Maddie pulled in with an empty trailer and a very sad heart.

Not what any of us had planned for the day.

That night, she came back over for some dinner, a Christmas movie and to help me wrap presents. We didn’t talk about what had happened really; she just needed the comfort of being near family. I thought, then, as I wrapped gifts by the fire, about the holidays and all the people struck with grief in the midst of great joy and celebration. The heartbreak of it. The absurdity of walking through the brightly-lit winter wonderland, when your own light is dim and cold. One of my best friends just lost her dad last week, and I know this Christmas will look very different for her, and her family. I bet you know someone, too, who is struggling.

As we all move into this season, and enjoy, to the fullest, all it has to offer, let’s not forget those around us who might be hurting. They may need a warm meal, and a cozy fire. Likely, they won’t say much, or they may not talk about it at all. But they just might need the comfort of being with someone who loves them.

Someone who can hold a light up for them until theirs bounces back to bold and bright.


All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 MSG