It has been a lot like that for us this December—not just the fact that Christmas cards arriving at our house this year have notes of condolence appended to the bottom, but also the fact that before the Christmas decorations came down and got packed away for another year, we gathered in Dallas with family and friends for Kelly’s funeral. Right next to the glittering Christmas tree Karen decorated in anticipation of Kelly’s safe return, we wept and held each other close—aching together over the husband, father, brother, son, and friend we lost on the mountain. It’s difficult to fit that scene together with the joyous festivities we usually associate with Christmas.
Then again, perhaps this is the most fitting way of all to celebrate the birth of Jesus—with a profound awareness of our own brokenness and a fresh recognition of our desperate need for the rescue operation God mounted when He sent His Son to earth. Maybe the pain and disappointments so many carry in their hearts will serve to remind us all that we actually need the Child who was born two thousand years ago. We hope Kelly’s life and death have brought that message of hope to many—a hope that outlives the disappointments and tragedies of this world and refuses to let death have the last word.
With hope in the Christ Child,
How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, "Your God reigns!"—Isaiah 52:7 (NIV)