It is late and I find myself sitting quietly in the dark, sipping chamomile tea and trying to unwind from the day. I have tried to write our annual Christmas letter today, but several things seemed to get in the way and still it isn’t finished. Like the hour, my Christmas letter is much later this year and I wonder what exactly it is that I have been so busy doing and how the days have passed so quickly.

A few months ago I heard a sermon by Joyce Meyer and she said something that struck a nerve and set my mind on a course of thought that I’ve been pondering for some time. Joyce said, “most of us nurture our relationships in the margins of our lives”.

Perhaps my annual Christmas letter is a reflection of that very statement. For many on our list, it is the only contact we may have for the entire year – a one page summary of our lives over the course of the year.

We live in the wealthiest country in the world, yet every day I meet people who are starving – starving for relationships and a real, genuine connection to someone. We seem to be a country of shallow, superficial relationships that do not satisfy the longing of the soul for a real connection to someone. Of course, each of us is created with a desire – a longing- for a relationship with our creator and it is a longing only He can fill, but we were also created to fellowship with one another and in the midst of our social society, that desire for earnest fellowship is often tossed aside for shallow substitutes.

I think about my own friends and how little I give of myself to nurture those relationships, and those whom I love deepest must often struggle the hardest for a moment of my undivided attention. In the midst of daily routine, it is so easy to forget what is important, but people should always trump things and relationships should always prevail over routine.

Oh how often we forget that there is never a balance when it comes to love. Love, and therefore relationships, cannot be made to balance with any other aspect of life. Real love – a love that flows through us rather than from us – must overflow the margins and fill us entirely before it can even start to be defined as love.