Advent 22: To you whose hope seems stolen…

Christmas can be hard. I have friends who are clinging on by their fingernails, watching the approach of fake festivity with dread.

It is no surprise that cultural assumptions around Christmas impose a kind of torture on those who feel out of sorts with them.

Perhaps this is you. In part, it will be me, not only because of recent losses, but also because I tend towards the meloncholy, particularly at this time of year. However, In my case at least, this is not the whole story. I am blessed not to be alone for a start, and my table will not be empty. Still, I will struggle and sowill look for small moments beyond the inevitable excesses when things are deeper and these will be my Christmas.

To those of you who struggle, often in secret, to ‘get through’ Christmas, I want to say this; it is no shame to opt out of what you need to opt out of. There is nothing wrong with doing what you must to get by. If you need to grit your teeth and watch back-to-back episodes of old TV programmes, do it. If you need to stay in bed with a good book and try to forget the whole thing, this is fine too. There are days when these things are necessary.

There might be moments though. Small things known only to you. Tiny exchanges between you and the mercy that holds you. They will be easily missed and soon forgotten, unless you reach out and take them in your hands.

This poem is a prayer for the same…

Photo by Nico Obsieger on




To you whose hope

Seems stolen

Know this tender thing;

The bruised old sky above you

(Which seems to yawn indifference)

Is, in fact, leaking light.


Particles tumble down

Like this promise;

I am here

Where you are


For I know what you know

I see what you see

The fences you built are no protection

From starlight


My stars leave no shadow

And in this gentle light

Shy things

Become possible.

2 thoughts on “Advent 22: To you whose hope seems stolen…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.