I am trying to count my blessings as Christmas approaches, which is not easy this year as we lost a precious member of our family recently. Tomorrow marks the one month anniversary of my brother’s death. So my heart has been heavy and I cannot help thinking of all the families going through similar pain. Even news out of the city of Aleppo in Syria adds to my own personal grief, though I do not know any of the people there I feel for their terror and anguish. It all makes me feel so hopeless and helpless.

The words of a Christmas Carol, “I heard the bells on Christmas Day” has been resonating with me, especially the words, “for hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth good will to men”.  But the lyrics continue with “Then rang the bells more loud and deep, God is not dead nor does He sleep, the wrong shall fail, the right prevail with peace on earth good will to men”. The latter verse is the one I am trying desperately to keep foremost in my mind, for in my heart of hearts I believe in the inherent goodness of humanity.

I have heard it said, “Hate the sin, not the sinner” and I think that is really good advice – for whom among us has not transgressed in some way or other? We all cause pain for others sometimes. If we are big enough and aware enough we apologize and do our best not to repeat an offense, but we are all mere humans after all. We make mistakes.

So as I sit here counting my blessings I think of all the ways I have been blessed. I am thinking especially about the support of a loving family, friends, and wonderful coworkers. I have had compassion and love poured upon me from many incredible human beings. It has been balm for my soul to know I am not alone, that people do care.

There are so many blessings, I live in comfortable, warm surroundings – I am not homeless, as many are. I have enough to eat, clothes, transportation, while many are hungry, destitute, and without the means to travel anywhere. I am employed at a job I enjoy while many face the stress of living without gainful employment, or work at a job they hate. I live in freedom and safety – many areas of the world do not enjoy all that we take for granted in Canada. I am healthy while many are sick. So, while life is not perfect and I mourn my brother, there is still much to be thankful for, and many blessings.


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