Hearts are heavy, friendships and familial relations are straining and breaking under the weight of diametrically opposing viewpoints on fundamental humanity, equal protections for all, and the very real fear of campaign promises being brought to fruition and further imperiling the lives of so many.
And while many, MANY of us are now feeling like emotional refugees in our own land, there are still very real refugees wanting desperately to find respite on our shores, on any shores that will allow their children to sleep at night, to wake and find the roof still above them, not crushing them.
And as so much plays out around us, and around the world, we move day by day closer to the original refugee story - the one around which Christmas revolves.
The birth story of Jesus begins with two strangers in the night, trying desperately to find refuge, being repeatedly told "No room at the inn." And yet somehow in that desperation, shelter is found, and an incredible story was born with that baby - wise men, gifts, angels, a star.
That story is the original tale of giving. Of welcoming. Of open hearts, hope, joy.
But mostly HOPE.
I have focused on it much over the past two weeks. Yes, my overtly religious days are behind me. But the meaning found during this season is not. The lessons are as alive as ever. It is why I first asked this community to come together and help others. Because there is need. There is sadness attached to that need. And behind every email I receive there are children. Children who have no control over the economy. Children who did not ask for their lot in life. Children who simply want what so many of our children have always been able to take for granted.
That at this special time of year, as carols ring out, as brightly colored lights twinkle, that someone remembers them. That the magic still available in the hearts and minds of the innocent can happen for them, too.
With each email I receive, all I see is the request for hope. The desire to make even the tiniest bit of magic for a child. I don't see politics. I don't see memes. I don't see anything but what we all are when stripped of the noise and conflict and brought low by life - human beings who are hurting; human beings who are hoping that other human beings will extend a helping hand.
The days are flying by as this holiday season approaches. If you can help bolster our Yes, Virginia coffers, I promise to make every cent do its utmost to make as much magic as possible. And if you know of a family who is hurting and could use our help, please let me know.
The link is always open that explains our fund. And donating is as easy as heading to Paypal and entering email@example.com.
We can do this.