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Retrieving our spirit

By Lynn Gendusa
Former resident and writer who lives in Roswell

It is nearing the end of December 2020, and soon the world will erupt with gladness that this year is almost over! A glimmer of light appears at the end of dark tunnels. The television will no longer shout horrid campaign ads, and children’s laughter will soon return to school playgrounds. Hopefully, when Christmas returns in 2021, we can openly embrace our families, witness smiles, and thank God we survived the worst year in America’s history.

However, before we look ahead to 2021, let us return for a moment to Christmas Eve 2019. It was a typical Christmas Eve for many, and in our innocence, we never dreamed there was a menace lurking in the shadows that would soon create devastation and death around the world. In one year since that seemingly long-ago Christmas, our lives have completely changed. Our innocence has faded. Uncle Charlie died in the spring from the virus, and Sarah’s new backpack was barely used. When we rang in 2020, none of us knew it would be our last party, the last dance, and the end of large gatherings for the rest of the year. For over 320,000 Americans, it was to be their final year. We did not understand how life could change on a moment’s notice and the amount of grief we would experience.

Perhaps, it is time to say goodbye to the things that ended our festive spirits. A vaccine will attempt to rid ourselves of the pandemic, but it will take personal responsibility to mend our hearts. If we want to embellish the hope that Christ’s birth brought us years ago, we must lay down our selfish anger. It is ugly, sinister, and will destroy us.

The horrible, nasty political divide in our country is nothing short of abysmal. None of us are assured of a tomorrow, but how we behave today will determine whether we are a country filled with bitterness or the America of our ancestors. If we truly desire to see a hopeful future for our children, we must resolve to be kind, compassionate people today.

Now, millions of our citizens are hungry and need food, yet we give millions of dollars to political campaigns. Some pray to God to aid our land, yet they write ungodly hate-filled tirades on social media filled with threats and vile. So, what will future generations say about the priorities of the America of 2020?

Christ came to us to stop the pain God’s people endured.

He came to counsel us as to how to live abundantly while encompassing God’s mercy. He taught us that love is powerful, and hatred is evil. He was crucified on a cross because people chose to not trust His word. Hate and distrust killed Jesus. Do you not believe it could kill us?

Can we retrieve the joy of Christmas eve 2019?

Yes, I believe we can. We just need to look at ourselves in the mirror and figure out if we want to be known as good, kind, benevolent people or folks driven by rage, selfishness, and revenge? I doubt when you ask yourself that question, you will choose the latter. If we are ready to say good riddance to 2020, let us all simply behave better. Even when we wholeheartedly deem we are right about whatever we believe in, the truth is we are never entirely correct. No one ever is. 2020 years ago, Christ arrived to save the world.

He healed the sick, fed the poor, and called on all of us to love one another. Would we not have a more peaceful tomorrow if we honor the young man who died to save us all by adhering to His teachings? Feed the poor, heal the sick, love one another, and love God.

He was the only one that was ever absolutely right.

Ring in the New Year with hope, peace, and love. Allow our children to remember us for our humanity and not our division and anger.

This is how we will return to the spirit of Christmas in 2021.