Earlier this fall, my friend wasn't feeling well. I watched her son for a bit so she could rest, and after not getting any better, she went to the clinic and told me she was diagnosed with vertigo.
I felt bad for her, but I had no idea what she was going through. My sympathy was real - I cared that my friend was sick - but, since I had never experienced vertigo, mostly empty.
Yesterday morning, I got out of bed and fell into the wall. The room spun and I crawled to the bathroom, certain I was going to vomit. I had a hard time focusing my eyes, and spent considerable energy trying to convince myself that the room wasn't bucking like a ship at sea.
You already know who I texted.
My friend who'd been there.
She came over as soon as she could and took me to the clinic. She offered me her arm as we went outside because she knew the world was tipping for me. She drove carefully and gently, having experienced the peculiar sensation of driving in an earthquake-for-one. She brought us supper, because she knew how little she felt like cooking when she was suffering the same thing.
There's the sympathy that looks on, and then there's the sympathy that knows.
And oh, she was so much kinder and more helpful to me than I was to her. Because she knew.
And that's the thing with this God-Man, this second Person of the Trinity, this Jesus.
He was a baby, like me, like you. He isn't distant. He came so very, very close to us, to know us as one of us. Mary's boy-child.
When the world spins and tilts, He knows.
He is touched by our infirmities (Hebrews 4:15).
He's been here.
Comfort, comfort at Christmas, friends!