I was brought to tears today listening to "The Little Drummer Boy" in very bad Christmas Eve traffic. This is all going to sound obvious because everyone knows what that song is really about, but I was so deeply touched to realize that Christ smiles at me, too, when I give my little awkward offering that is embarrassing to me because it seems so small compared to what others give.
I am a mediocre mother. There are many ways I could improve as a wife. I'm a bumbling friend and only passing-fair as a den leader. Even my writing skills (with which I've been trying to redeem my sense of worth?) are only moderate.
But I try. And I keep trying.
That little drummer probably felt embarrassed with such a strange gift compared to what others gave (OK, I know it's all a made-up story anyway—but as we know, we learn the greatest truths from fiction). But still Christ smiled.
My prayer this year is that I can feel Christ smiling at my offering, and that I can somehow radiate His smile to those I interact with.
And even though I've given it to you before, here is my Christmas poem for you, just because it says the same thing I've been trying to say here. Merry Christmas, my friends.
by Darlene Young
Don’t tell me about rose-cheeked Arcadian youth
gathering daisies on a hillside
piping tunes to their cloud-fluffy sheep
under the stars.
No, these were foul-smelling, lusty
men with dirty necks, greasy hands,
snorting, arguing, joke-telling, nose-picking
men—one wearing stolen
sandals (although I admit he felt
guilty about it)—gambling on who
had the best aim as they chucked rocks
at a nearby lizard.
You talk about salt of the earth—
these men were salty, alright
downright ornery, some of them,
fighting sometimes and yelling
at their wives when they were home,
which wasn’t often.
Yeah, I’ll grant you Dan
was an innocent
and Dave had some noble moments
and none of them was really evil
but they all had dirty fingernails
of one kind or another
when the light came—
yes, it came.
But don’t take away that moment just before—
flies whining over the sheep dung
and Jake and Zeke having a
that’s the key moment, you see,
in all their grimy glory;
it has to be
because the light came to me too,