Many of us will spend carefree times with friends and family this week. We’ll gather around festive tables. We’ll eat too much. Reminisce about good times gone by. Laugh at the kids and nieces and nephews. Play games in the yard. Take naps. Watch sports. Tolerate obnoxious relatives. Enjoy the fellowship.
Not so for children and adults who dread this scary, ugly season. They must bear up under ridicule, try to act unafraid, hide their shame, stuff their pain, act like they’re “okay”, and pray no one gets violent or abusive.
They dread this ugly season because their fears and dreads get augmented. The threat of abuse simmers under the skin. Egg shells replace pile carpet. Some pretend they’re okay. Some shrink in isolation and pray no one calls them out. Some just weep.
In this ugly season more relationships crumble, more arms get broken, cuts and bruises abound. More people commit suicide. We see more murders, more assaults, more sadness, more hopelessness, more violence, more homelessness. More abuse.
Emergency rooms overflow.
This ugly season is real life for more people than we can imagine. This ugly season devastates every socio-economic segment of our culture, every race, every religion, every church, every neighborhood.
Will we stop it? No. Will we slow it down? I doubt it.
We can not ignore it.
In my opinion we need to acknowledge this growing tragedy. Educate ourselves about its pervasiveness. Then, when we encounter victims of this senseless violence, we need to love them with the love of Jesus and minister to them any way we can.