Sunday, December 18, 2011

My Best for Him

--
Several days ago, Jennifer Lee posed a fun question on facebook.  She asked,

"Which nativity character do you most closely identify with?"

When I saw her question I was just breezing through and didn't have time to respond, but that question stayed with me as I went through the rest of a customarily busy leading-up-to-Christmas week.

I guess this was kind of a new thought to me. I had never really tried to see myself in the characters, except to imagine what it was like for them as they lived their part in the story.  I did play the angel in the school Christmas play in grade 3 (that's what they call it in Canada where I lived at the time).  My costume was wonderfully homemade--a soft white robe made out of an old sheet with silver tinsel sewn around the hems of the billowing sleeves, wings my mother made (I can't remember how) and a tinsel-wrapped wire halo that was hard to keep from tipping off my slippery curls. (That was way back when schools still knew why we celebrate Christmas and didn't treat it as unmentionable or pretend it didn't exist.) I could hardly breathe with the thrill of significance, standing stage left on a big wooden box for angelic elevation.  I delivered my lines with tremendous feeling while peering out into the black gymnasium, straining to see my parents and my little brother in the audience.

"For unto you is born this day in the city of David
a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."

How I loved the way the tinsel made me sparkle in those blazing stage lights.

Okay, so I may have played an angel once upon a time, but I don't think I ever saw myself in the angel in the story.  Me? Angelic? Not so much.

Hmm . . . let me look around, who else?  I love animals, but don't see myself in the animals or shepherds either one.

Joseph?  The Three Kings?  No and no.

What about Mary? As a brunette, I never thought of myself as Mary because I thought the prettiest blond girl always got that role.  Even later with the life experiences of motherhood, it was hard to put myself in Mary's shoes, to imagine being the mother of Jesus, so honored and blessed, so burdened by the cost of her faithfulness. No, I couldn't see myself as Mary in the manger scene either.

Clearly there are characteristics and qualities of each of the players in the nativity story that I can learn from and aspire to, actions and attitudes I can mirror, symbolism and truth for me to discover, but do I identify with any of them, really?  I'm still not sure I do . . . except, well, maybe one . . . Yes! I'm sure of it . . . the Little Drummer Boy!

Hold on . . . Yes, I know perfectly well that none of the Biblical authors wrote of a little drummer boy who played his drum at the direction of the gift-laden wise men, with the kind permission of Mary and to the delight of the Baby Jesus.  It's "just" a story.  I know this, I do, and yet, there is something in that story-song that makes it true whether the events really happened or not.

The little drummer boy calls to mind another little boy, who some 30 years hence, would share his five small loaves and two small fish because it was all he had to give when he came face to face with Jesus.

All he had was more than enough in the hands of the King.


Maybe I identify with the little drummer boy because I have my own not-so-little Drummer Boy who fills our lives with the music that tumbles and rumbles and rolls right out of him and into the drums he plays . . . maybe it's because sometimes I feel bereft of gifts good enough to give my King to show my love for Him . . . maybe it's because I do so deeply want to give my very best for Him.

I guess I still long to be a part of all that glitters at Christmas, to stand sparkling only as I reflect the blazing glory of Jesus, the Light of the World.

What do you have that you can offer the King like the little drummer boy?
How do you enter into the sparkle of Christmas and reflect Him to a dark world?
________________________________

Joining Ann Voskamp in counting His graces for her Multitudes on Monday
I hope you'll join in if you haven't already!
In the counting of the endless gifts I say with C. S. Lewis,
"This also is Thou!"

#956-970
956. My Mommy's Birthday!!  Took me all day, but finally got ahold of her to wish her a happy one!!
957. The beautiful sound of a room full of people praying in one accord
958. People God sends to help me get unstuck 
959. Hero Husband's beyond-fabulous tacos
960. All the Christmas lights that are going up everywhere and the creativity of so many of the displays.
961. Teenagers!
962. Drummer Boy and I collaborating to get the rest of the Christmas lights up on the house--him walking around like Spiderman on the roof and us laughing . . . a lot!
963. Hero Husband so delighted with the job Drummer Boy did with those lights!
964. Dinner with new pastor in a chance to get acquainted, and a "chance" meeting at Peet's with our former youth pastor who has moved on to a new position!  Both were such a blessing!
965. Christmas dinner with the wonderful people of World Impact and hearing the stories of how God has been working in their midst!
966. Salmon stuffed with crab, shrimp & brie and Chocolate Lava Cake with Vanilla Bean ice cream at Spenger's Fresh Fish Grotto in Berkeley
967. She So Sweet's fashion show in her new clothes from Grandma & Auntie
968. Thinking maybe I really can!
969. Reconnecting with old friends!
970. Late night family movie fun watching Jerry Lewis in "The Nutty Professor."  LAUGHTER!

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