This holiday season, I’ve had a bit more time on my hands than I have had in the past…oh, thirteen years or so. Recovering from major surgery gave me time and space to think and to pray. The quieter I became in my soul, the more sure I was that the Lord was calling me to do something different this year to celebrate the Savior’s birth. I did not want to look like the culture around me.
So this year, I made gifts. By hand. I can’t yet disclose what I made because some of my blog readers will be receiving these gifts shortly. But I can share with you a poem that I wrote yesterday. I wanted to capture the essence of what I heard whispered about Christmas. My prayer is that perhaps my feeble words may inspire you who follow Christ to dare to be different….and may it inspire you who do not yet follow Christ to think about what it might look like to follow Him.
An Unconventional Choice
by Christie McBride
Sweaters and mixers, bracelets and rings
These are a few of our favorite things
Hammers and hand tools, “ware” — both hard and soft
a new television that would look grand up in the loft —
At Christmas, these gifts are snatched
While customers standing in line are bumped and scratched
All to celebrate the birthday of The Savior,
Prince of Peace, Lord of all, even Mis-behavior
In a culture obsessed with status and power
And squeezing every possible cent out of every hour,
We press and stress, spend to excess
All in an effort, I’m afraid, to impress
The ones we love, as if the value of the gift we bring
Is equated with the amount of love in our hearts we fling
Jesus in all His power and might
Desires that we find our delight
In living Love, and Loving compassion
On the people with gray faces of ashen,
With bellies distended and aching, skin dulled and flaking,
Drinking dirty water, these poor and needy depend on us forsaking
The grain of this greedy world,
Unfolding our hands that were previously curled
In a tight fist, shouting, “Mine!” but that now understand
All that we have been given comes from God’s own hand.
For this reason this year we ignored the long lines
We did not push heavy baskets through steep inclines
Instead we listened to the still, small voice
That cried out for us to follow an unconventional choice
We hand-made our gifts, and we present them with verse
Along with a donation to Samaritan’s Purse.
The love we have for you overflows as we pray
And may the Lord bless the needy who will receive our aid.
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in….whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”
–Jesus, in Matthew 25
Wishing you Joy and Peace this Christmas!