Feet covered in warm slippers, knees pulled up to my chest, sitting deep in an overstuffed chair, I watch the rain run slowly down the window. The sky is gray, no clouds, no sun, just gray. I sigh loudly into the empty silence around me. My heart feels as gray as the sky.
I am tired and worn down. I want to shrink the world down to the size of my living room. To exist only here, in this space of warmth and comfort I have created. I sigh again. Looking through the dirt smudged window I see a bigger world facing me than my living room holds. I can't hide from that world or deny its existance. It is facing me. I watch the rain a little longer, wishing its steady flow could wash my soul clean.
I close my eyes and my heart cries out to God. "Oh Lord, Lord. I don't have the words anymore. I feel so empty, so devoid of anything. Fill me Lord. Fill me with what it is I need, for I am an empty vessel. Fill me soon Lord or I fear that these walls of mine will collapse in around me."
The doorbell rings, colliding that outside world into mine.
Slowly I rise up and walk to the door. I am not expecting anyone. The children are still at school. When I get to the door no one is there, but there is a bag on my doorstep. I open up the bag and find that someone has left me some clothes and winter coats. An offering of kindness from an annonymous giver. I appreciate the giving. Their generosity allows us to afford some luxeries.
As I sort through the clothes I see a coat that is too big for any of my children. It looks brand new. I know that my neighbor has a daughter about the size of this coat. This year has been hard for her and her child. Harder than anything I can ever imagine going through. I am sure she could use it.
I walk over to her house and ring her doorbell. She answers and I ask if she would like the coat, maybe to use as a Christmas present for her daughter. Her eyes light up and she says that she would love it, because that will be the only present her daughter will be getting this year. She asks if I can hide it for her at my house and bring it back on Christmas morning.
I leave her house feeling overcome with emotions. Walking back into the world of my home I stop and look at my surroundings. The tree, large and beautifully lit in my living room. The stockings hung with care. I look at all that we have. I look at the tree again, knowing that Christmas morning it will be surrounded by gifts.
Suddenly I don't feel quite so worn down and tired. I feel blessed. I have much to be thankful for. My burdens are light compared to others. I am no longer empty, but I am filled with grattitude.