Christmas Connections

I won’t be celebrating Christmas in the presence of my children or grandchildren this year. One daughter and her family are traveling to a vacation spot outside the country. John and I had a wonderful telephone conversation with them, yesterday. On Christmas Day, we will be talking with our other daughter and family who, like us, will be hosting Christmas dinner for family and friends.

Phone calls and texting provide wonderful ways to connect. Nevertheless, it is limiting. How does an emoticon hug feel compare to a real hug? I like receiving them. Yet, something is missing. I long and wait for the day when real hugs can be exchanged.

Text and photos mean a lot to me. I like sending them and receiving them.  How do they compare to the words spoken by the flesh-and-blood person who’s standing in my presence? I enjoy the texts and pictures; yet, something is missing. I long and wait for the times when that flesh-and-blood loved one is in my presence and we can converse together.

Although our children and grandchildren will not be present at our dinner table on Christmas Day, John and I will not be sitting alone. We’ve invited friends, who like us, will for some reason be missing face-to-face family connections.

Perhaps today’s poem expresses my thoughts regarding connection more effectively than the above paragraphs. I hope you, my readers and friends, will not take it as a complaint. (That’s where limitations of the internet kick in.

We all sit alone
With our tablets and our phones
And think we are connected
But when face to face
Our anxieties increase
And we retreat in silence
God, what do you see?
Is this all there’s meant to be?
Or is there something better?
We all sit alone
With our tablets and our phones
And say,” we are connected”.
But emoticons don’t touch
Or tell us very much
About what’s deep within us
Gradually we lose
Our abilities, unused
Our brains become rewired
We all sit alone
With our tablets and our phones
And pretend we’re connected.

God, what do you think?
Is there something out of sync?
Do I, alone, perceive it?
As I sit alone
With my tablet and my phone
And declare, “I’m connected.”
Jane Ault

I truly appreciate each one of you and pray that you will have a wonderful Christmas. Let us rejoice in God’s grace and seek the help of the Holy Spirit to connect with him who in the form of Jesus made a face-to-face, flesh and blood connection with humanity over 2000 years ago and has promised to come again.