Not everyone will have a merry Christmas. Some individuals will be lonely this Christmas, whether mourning over the death of a loved one or just separated from family. Some may have lost their job or their home. Some may have unpleasant childhood memories.
But whatever the reason, it may feel like a well of despair.
Those words, well of despair, remind me of a line of dialog from an episode of the wartime M*A*S*H series. It is a situation of being separated from one’s family at Christmas.
In one Christmas episode, Dr. Charles Emerson Winchester III, a.k.a. Snootyface, is depressed, “waxing nostalgic” as he calls it, and would much rather be at home in Boston with his family gathered around the fireplace, with all its “utter civility.”
Unbeknownst to Charles, Radar had written home to Charles’ mother, at the suggestion of Father Mulcahy, asking that she send something to make Charles feel more at home, even in his hostile surroundings, and bring him a little ray of hope.
She sends an old toboggan cap from Charles’ youth, and when he opens the package, he is totally delighted. With the small cap stretched over his balding head, Charles cleans out his pockets of all his cash and gives it to the Father for the orphans.
Father Mulcahy, puzzled by Charles’ sudden generosity, asks, “Major, are you all right?”
Chuckling and patting his capped head, Charles says, “You saved me, Father. You lowered a bucket into the well of my despair and you raised me up to the light of day. I thank you for that.”
Many have much more serious personal wartimes at Christmas: depression, heartache, loneliness, frustration, financial problems, relationship riffs, and any number of other disheartening situations.
Do you see others drinking from the well of despair this time of year? Offer them a drink from the well of Living Waters to give them hope, to raise them up to see the light of day. To see Jesus as the Light of their day.
Maybe you have your own well of Christmas despair, your own war. What reaches down into that well and raises you up to the light of day? Christ is always there to do so. And raising another’s spirits just may lift your own.
Please know the Father is sending you hope and encouragement from Home through the miracle of the manger, the birth of His Son Jesus.
May your well of Christmas despair be filled with overflowing joy!