It’s that time of year when Thad and I send out Christmas cards with a one page letter highlighting the year’s events. Our criteria for selection are those people who impacted our lives in the past. Some are people from our childhood or early days of marriage along with distant family members who don’t live close by and who we don’t see very often. As we write our letter and fill out our cards we revisit our connection, and reminisce about times gone by. We lift them up in prayers not knowing what their needs are but assured that God knows and hears them. It’s a way of keeping those bonds and memories alive and we hope they look forward to our letter as much as we enjoy reading theirs.
After 35 years of exchanging Christmas cards and letters, Fran and Sandy’s card came back as “Return to Sender”, “Address Unknown”, and “Undeliverable at this Address”. Another Christmas card spurred a phone call from a relative letting us know that Marilyn who kept the Schoen Family Tree is longer living.
It is a bittersweet feeling knowing God has gifted us with their presence in our life yet having to delete them from our Christmas card list. I find myself unable to hit the delete key to remove their names. I fear that once removed from our list, we would soon forget the gift of time spent together. In an effort to keep their memory alive in my heart, I have come up with a way to keep them on my list without sending them a card. I have a column on my list that says: Called to Higher Service”. Then I sort my list; printing only the labels for those that have a known address. This way, l can enjoy the memories their names conjure up each year at Christmas.
The way I see it, God the Father sent Jesus to show us the way to live together and then He, too, was returned to Sender to make a place for us. We have all been delivered on this earth to be a light for one another and we’re all going to be returned to Sender. It is what we do between delivery and return to Sender that makes the difference.
This Christmas, may you be the difference to someone and may you rest in the peace that those who have been called to a higher service are guardian angels watching over you not only at Christmas but throughout the year.