I am running the Willow Winter Solstice Marathon this Saturday. It will be another prayer run for me. This time, I'm running for those who can't.
Let me explain. From its name, the Willow Marathon is held on a Saturday closest to the winter solstice, the day when the darkness is longest. In some churches, a Longest Night or Blue Christmas service is held and is specifically planned to minister to those who are in the midst of darkness during this season of joy and cheer. It is for those to whom Christmas is a burden because of certain life situations they are in.
For those of you who are in the longest nights of your souls, for you who are living in the darkness of your life situations, I dedicate this run to you.
This is for you who have lost loved ones, and you who are going through difficult times.
This is for you who are going through painful divorces, you who are worn-out trying to work it out and you who are going through stressful life transitions.
This is for you who have been diagnosed with sicknesses, you who are going through treatment and you who are in recovery.
This is for you who are lost and you who are struggling for direction.
This for you to whom Christmas will never be merry and bright because it is a painful reminder of tragedy, abuse and conflict.
I run in solidarity with your darkness and pain. I will be praying for you through the dark night. I know that the suffering I will go through in running those 26.2 cold, snowy miles will be nothing compared to the pain you are in right now.
I will pray with the hope and assurance that the next day would be longer and the night would be shorter. I will pray with the hope of increasing light for you and your situation.
For those of you who don't feel any compelling reason anymore to continue running the race of life, I will run the race for you and with you. There is hope, my friend. That is the real good news of Christmas.
Your fellow disciple,