Thursday, December 23, 2010

Pa rum pum pum pum...

Back when I was a little girl, in first grade or so, we learned all kinds of Christmas songs at school. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, Jingle Bells, and even Silent Night and Away In A Manger. Yes, I was a child back in the dark ages when we were allowed to sing such things in a public school. *eye roll* One of my favorite Christmas songs then was Little Drummer Boy. I think it was all of the "pa rum pum pum pum", and that it was such a pretty little tune.

At any rate, I hadn't heard Little Drummer Boy in quite some time, and had even forgotten most of the words...or at least the order in which they came. Then it came on the radio this morning while I was folding laundry at the kitchen table, and when I found myself tearing up as I listened...I realized that I am quite likely the biggest sap in the world. I'll cry at absolutely anything any more, and especially around Christmastime.

Well, maybe this one is at least partially justified. I mean, listen to what the little drummer boy says to the babe:

"Little baby...I am a poor boy too. I have no gift to bring that's fit to give the King."

Who does have a gift that's worthy of Him? What can you or I or anyone give to another person that comes close to mirroring the amazing gift of God's only Son?

It's overwhelming to me to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. It was easier when I was a child - I knew the Christmas story and believed it, of course, but I didn't know enough then to be affected by it the same way. To know what Mary must have felt, to think of the name calling that she and Joseph must have endured. To know what it feels like to carry a child to term and then to imagine making that trip to Bethlehem on foot and on the back of a donkey on top of being ready to burst! To imagine having that child in a dark and dirty stable rather than in the sterility of a hospital or in the comfort of my living room.

The only thing that I can't possibly imagine is how she must have felt when she first held her newborn son. It's an amazing moment in ordinary circumstances, to finally see and hold your baby - but to know that the soft little cheek you're kissing is the face of God?! No, I can't imagine.

However...I can imagine a little drummer boy kneeling at the manger. Knowing that this is a momentous occasion, that the world will never be the same. Having nothing to give that he deems worthy. The only thing he could possibly offer was a rhythm on his drum.

"I played my best for Him...then He smiled at me."

Turns out that our meager gifts, when they are the best that we have to offer, are good enough after all.

The important thing is to keep offering them, whether we think they're acceptable or not.

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