…He hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted…. — Luke 4:18
Although Christmastime was a joyous time for our family, Christmas Day itself reminded me about the pain of broken families. My grandfather had been married four times; two of my grandmothers had been married twice; a great-grandmother had been married five times; an uncle had been married three times; and the list seemed to go on and on. I had six grandmothers and three grandfathers — some natural, others added by divorce and remarriage.
I always felt this brokenness at Christmastime because Dad and Mom faithfully took us to visit every single faction of our multiple family branches. We’d spend a little time with one set of grandparents, then the next, then go on to the next, and then we’d start on visiting our various grandmothers. In a certain way, Christmas Day felt a bit like geriatric ministry as we spent most of the afternoon trying to see and honor all the old people in our family who had been married various times.
Those Christmas afternoon “tours” each year were difficult for our family in that they brought up painful memories for those old enough to remember. This particular childhood memory of Christmastime always makes me pray for people who are from broken homes and are confronted with this brokenness during the holidays. It’s just a fact that holidays are not always easy to celebrate for people who have fragmented families.
However, I have a scripture I want to share with you — one that I believe will encourage you during this holiday season if are confronted by painful memories or brokenness. In Luke 4:18, Jesus said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted….”