For many of us, the holiday season is full of parties and other gatherings. We enjoy delicious food, good music, and the company of great friends. The nights are long, but we don’t seem to mind because there’s always more dancing to do or more conversations to be had.

One night, as a party came to an end, I stood by as my husband chatted it up with the rest of the lingerers standing nearby. I could feel my heels giving way to a pain that often comes with a side of impatience. I was working up the nerve to give my husband “the signal” for the third time when someone approached me.

Soon, we started talking about happiness and how being a bit cynical can make it difficult to believe there are people who do good and that genuine smiles exist. A few minutes later, he said something that caught me off-guard.

“If I’m honest, I’m jealous and I want what he has,” he uttered.

Although it was the first real conversation I’d ever had with him, he knew my husband and said he wanted me to know exactly how much my husband’s presence meant to him. He said he’d been noticing how much my husband smiles for years and he could tell it was real. He said he could also tell he wasn’t about charming others to get money or material things or the approval of men. And that made a big impact on him.

Eventually, we parted ways and I headed outside. As soon as I got in the car, I told my husband about the conversation and how much it meant to me. He said he had no idea that person felt that way, but that hearing about it humbled him in a way that only comes from knowing something bigger than ourselves was at work.

I’m not sure if that person gave a second thought to their words or the dialogue that came afterwards, but I couldn’t forget them. I mulled over all the things I said, the things I wish I would have said, and all I could have done to be a light for him as my husband had been.

I thought about how we live in a world filled with darkness and evils that could make anyone cynical, jaded, or merely frustrated with all that goes on. How there are people who feel unsafe, unloved, and unworthy everyday but hide their pain behind a wall of perceived perfection—because grinning and bearing it is the only way they know to survive. How so many want a life filled with hope and joy, but don’t know where to find it.

Then I thought about how light gives hope to anyone stumbling in darkness and how God in all his infinite wisdom knew that.

I wrote more about that in a post for GraceTable. I’d love for you to check it out.

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