Christmas is an especially hard day for families who have been separated by Child Protective Services and family courts. How can Christmas possibly be "merry" when that which means the most - the children, or in some cases the elderly parents - are not there? The laughter and wonder of Christmas is missing, and their hearts have been shattered. My heart has been very heavy this Christmas as I carry so many hurting families in my heart. It is hard to see hope and remember joy when there is so much evil in the world, but as I woke up this morning, I was reminded that Hope didn't come two thousand years ago as a blazing warrior on a white horse bringing victory. He came as a tiny baby. Yet He represented in human form all the love and promises and hope of God. I am reminded that, even in the midst of deep sorrow and desperation, the true message of Christmas is that "Hope" has been born. This season is a timeless marker that, no matter how dark and hopeless it may seem, there is still a light that shines in the darkness.

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