This morning, as I was reading my devotions, the words, "Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to [them]" jumped out at me. As I re-read the verses (Isaiah 40: 1-2a) a few times wondering why God seemed to want me to hear those particular words, I concluded He was simply reminding me of the importance of using our words to comfort others. After this, I "chatted" with my mom on-line and mentioned that I hoped I wouldn't get REALLY sad like I did last year on Christmas Day because of not having our son or my parents with me. Ultimately, I terminated the chat because my parent's-in-law are here for their first Guam visit, and I decided they simply HAD to munch on banana donuts while on Guam. Lola Sablan, knowing I had visitors, was kind enough to bring to church a large branch of the delicious cooking bananas. With my tummy satiated with the calorie-free (LOL) fried banana donuts, I hopped into the shower. I have a tradition of praying for my friend, September, and her family whenever I shower. You see, in May, their family sent us an INCREDIBLE care package with many toiletry items. Shockingly, within days of receiving the care package, we received word that the Vaudrey's vivacious 19 year-old daughter had died (See Blog June 2, 2008). Ever since then, whenever I shower, I pray that God would comfort their family as they grieve the loss of their precious child. So, as usual, as I showered, I prayed. I thought about how sad I was that our son, who is 20, wouldn't be with us this Christmas and yet, I will be able to hold him this summer when we're home on furlough. What must it be like for September, knowing that she will never again hold Kate while on this earth? My heart hurt for her, and I prayed that God would be near and dear to her family during this holy season. Suddenly, as clear as day, the words, "Comfort my people" came to mind. Wow! I knew I needed to get to the computer and send September a "comforting" email. The Bible says that our God is "the God who sees." He knows the pain of losing a child through a tragic death. He sees September and her family and knows every nuance of their sorrow. I hope that regardless of the pain you may be bearing this Christmas, you will know the true character of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ--the God who sees, the God of all comfort. The God who, in love, became flesh on Christmas Day.