Saturday, December 26, 2015

A True Story

It was a distinctive "click" that caused me to pause as I was vacuuming Christmas residue.  Most decorations had been put away, but in my hurry to enter the New Year with a tidy house, I'd dropped a few things and hastily hustled them into a ziplock bag. But that "clink" caught my attention. A tiny European creche had been a casualty of the fall and I had not inventoried the pieces.  Meticulously I counted the precious pieces only to discover one missing. In my heart I already knew this truth, and the truth was - I had vacuumed up baby Jesus!  And he was in the midst of a full paper bag of dust, cat hair, broken cookies and aluminum tinsel.  I did not want to open that bag. Did not want to take the time to get out newspapers on which to dump the contents. Did not want to get my hands dirty. I wanted to forget the whole matter and act as surprised as everyone else the following Christmas when we discovered Jesus missing.

But "the fear of the Lord" is a mystical reality, and even with no one watching, I simply could not disregard him, throw him out.  So with tears streaming down my face, I rescued the baby. Cleansing him from household dust and debris I reunited him with the sheep and shepherds, and Mary and Joseph, and placed them all together on the mantel.  For some reason, I still could not stop crying. Crying for me and my selfish ways, crying for Jesus, and crying in thanksgiving that I actually had the opportunity to do the right thing.

This is a simple story, but it so touched my heart that I continue to keep him and his little family on the mantle year-round reminding me of the day when I was in such a hurry to get my house in order, to get things clean and tidy, that I was ready to discard the best part. The gift.

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