Time is the strangest thing and when A Weary World: Reflections for a Blue Christmas came out in 2020, we were in the height of the pandemic before vaccinations and so many of us were all reeling. Last year, 2021, I honestly think we were even wearier–worn down not just by COVID but walking around with a greater vulnerability and also a soul-tiredness that we had hoped would feel different a year later. Now, 2022 is here and I am so aware of just how much loss and angst and change and transition and weird and hard and strange is rolling around in most everyone’s life I am connected to. Another mass shooting hitting so close to home this past week stirs up such a wide range of grief and anger right as the holidays begin full-swing.
One thing we all have in common is grief.
A Weary World was never just about the pandemic and it’s not all about losing Jared, either.
It’s about being people who can honor reality, practice honesty, embrace paradox, and borrow hope to keep on keeping on.
And it’s for people that want to create that space for others, either personally or in groups, and honor that for so many–no matter our faith or socioeconomics or political persuasions or realities–the holidays are hard.
This year, I am in a different place than a few years ago, but I’m ever-reminded of just how weird this season feels for so many of us–the holes in our hearts, the feeling-all-the-feels (or doing all we can to feel nothing at all), the on-edge-ness, the disorientation of not knowing what we even believe anymore, the dread, the weariness, the deep desire (or cut-off desire) for love, peace, joy, hope.
I’m always a little behind schedule, but as we are now fully in holiday realities, I thought I’d share a little round-up of some Weary World resources if you or someone you know could use a little extra TLC this season, including a real-time option on ZOOM, which I’m looking extra forward to.
- A Weary World: Reflections for a Blue Christmas – on Amazon or any major online retailers. Here’s a video that shares a little bit more about the book
- The Work of the People – 4 Weary World Videos + Christmas Eve “God With Us” – Downloadable for individuals and groups.
- Westminster John Knox Books, A Weary World & Practicing publisher – Downloadable resources for groups.
- Last Advent 2021, I did a series of daily 1 minute Instagram reels for the whole Advent season based on each reflection in the book. They’re all still here.
- Gathering together in real time – my favorite! Special In-real time ZOOM Gathering – When Christmas is Blue: A simple virtual contemplative experience for those struggling with the season–Sunday December 4th 2022, 3-4:30pm MST. Registrations required.
- I did a few podcast interviews for A Weary World for 2022 but they’re not out yet, but one of the ones I love the most from 2020 was with my friend Matt Kendziera. Here’s the link.
- The Refuge‘s Annual Blue Christmas (we’ve been hosting these for many many years) is Sunday December 11th if you’re in the Denver area. These are simple gatherings but always so good and who doesn’t like to smash some ornaments?
I know there are so many other great things that exist out there to help support the holidays and all kinds of good stuff for Advent. My hope is always the same--find what you need, find who you need, and remember you’re not alone.
Know my heart will be with all of us as we walk this out, one day at a time, doing our best to hold it all, A Prayer for Embracing Paradox from p. 71. As always, adapt any language to help it work for you!
God, all these contradictory feelings swirling around are rough on our souls.
Help us hold them all.
Help us remember in the middle of grief, we ca still live.
In the middle of despair, we can still hope.
In the middle of chaos, peace is still possible.
In the middle of division, love still lives.
Give us courage to own our paradoxical story.
Help us remember yours.
Love from Colorado today. With you in the weird.