Came third yesterday in a Christmas quiz! Two friends and I - the three french hens - took part in a fun quiz. Interesting questions, only one religious one out of 50, and the spelling of nearby teams of the word myrrh, was quite interesting. Anyway, we did not know the number of reindeer - nor their names, or the year the Beatles had a Christmas number one with 'I wanna hold your hand' but managed quite a few of the rest.
The small blot on the evening, came from a disagreement on the next table, which had been reserved for a particular team, but was occupied by another family oblivious of the quiz taking place. Suddenly this escalated into a verbal exchange between the men, which threatened at one stage to spill over onto our table as feelings got a little over heated. It was not great - and showed how much of a short fuse some people have, and how differences can quickly get out of control. Everything became an issue rather than one person simply apologising and walking away. It was not something, any of the three french hens experience very often.
Christmas for many is not a time for peace and harmony, but for stress and violence. Internal pressures get exposed and, for those not used to turning the other cheek, competition and pride lead to aggression and anger. It made us think of how in the heat of a moment lives can be change forever (as in the recent disagreement in a supermarket car park between pensioners), and how some people live with verbally aggressive people. So at a time of Christmas joy, it was perhaps salutary to happen upon the other side of Christmas cheer and remember those caught up, often accidentally, in the discontent of those who desperately need some graciousness and peace.
What if........we shrugged and walked away each time we were wronged?