My friend loves decorating for Christmas — always a real tree with fancied decor that’s far beyond my creative power, and under the tree are gifts wrapped in coordinating paper with bows and tags that are exquisitely placed. Christmas, and all that goes with it, makes her sparkle.
So, on this morning, the sight of my partially lit Charlie Brown tree had me ready to make a run for a new half-priced tree I knew was readily available at my local big-box store. Then I was reminded of my friend who lives on the other side of the world in a country that doesn’t have CHRISTmas, let alone Christmas trees.
In late November, we were talking and she excitedly told how she had been walking and praying about a Christmas tree…what to do, how to celebrate. The place to shop was the bazar down by the train tracks, and there simply was no Christmas–real or artificial. She had finished her prayer and there, in a ditch, was a freshly cut evergreen tree. They brought the answer-to-prayer-tree home and her children decorated it in a way that amazed me.
On this morning of my lighting lament, I read her blog about an orphan boy with cerebral palsy who spent his days flat on his back. The family got the boy a ‘day pass’ and brought him to their home to love on him and spread a little post-Christmas joy. My partially lit tree no longer mattered as I could envision my friend beaming from The Light that truly matters.
The abandoned tree,
the orphan boy —
both rescued and lifted out of a ditch [despair],
given new purpose and perspective.
He lifted me out of the ditch,
pulled me from deep mud.
He stood me up on a solid rock
to make sure I wouldn’t slip. Psalm 40:2 (MSG)