I never really understood why Vincent van Gogh chopped off his ear until I found out he did it on December 23rd – two days before Christmas. Seems he was living with his old buddy Gauguin, and the two of them had been getting on pretty well until the holidays approached. Tensions rose and van Gogh (who was a bit of a drama queen anyway) threatened his friend with a knife – finally cutting off his own ear. Now I know it was just because he could no longer stand the sound of the man’s voice!
Holidays can bring out the worst of us. Stress is high and goodwill toward men is a challenge in the mall parking lot. Unfortunately, many times we are actually kinder to strangers than the ones we love most dearly. As we’re getting closer to Christmas day, take a moment to ask God for an extra measure of grace, and then give it away. That’s the gift your loved ones need today.