Monday, December 26, 2016

Acceptable Gift

Christmas has always been a special time for me, and even more especially over the past six and a half years as I've come to know and rely on Him at a more personal and intimate level.  And I know He loves me, the whole me, gray hair, short temper, fears and all.  But sometimes, (often?) I feel insecure, especially around other people.

Placing the Christ Child on
the Nativity Advent.
A few weeks ago, a friend asked if I'd like to join her family in providing a musical number for Christmas Sunday.  How fun!  And then as things evolved, as they always do, it changed.  Her family would do a number, would we like to do one as well?  Okay, that can probably work out.  Except my family is scattered more often than gathered.  But probably...

It took until last Sunday night to all come together and reach a consensus.  By then, there was a third group involved, too.  But Christmas mornings are best with lots of music anyway, so it was all good, at least in theory.

Enjoying Christmas music on his
Wish TV
Until Saturday night, Christmas Eve.  We had practiced as much as we could, but with school schedules, and work schedules, and our accompanist (oldest daughter, Deborah) moving into her new apartment, well, it wasn't very often.  Plus Michael who was going to sing the solo at the beginning was coming down with a cold.  And I realized something I hadn't thought through before.  Both my friend and the other family have members who make their living with music, as in get paid to perform, not just give lessons, neither of which any of us do here.

All lined up and ready for Christmas.
I was feeling very inadequate, under prepared, and yes, afraid.  Afraid that it wouldn't come together.  Afraid that instead of adding to a Christmas Spirit, we would take it away.  Afraid that it just wouldn't work.  If I could have gotten out of it on Saturday, I would have called it off, but by then programs were printed and I felt like we needed to go ahead.  But I was scared.  Not uneasy, scared.

I told Michael (who was also really nervous) that having practiced as much as we could, we had the right not to just ask for heavenly help, but to expect it.  But I still worried.  I did know that He would accept our offering, but I couldn't see Him in the congregation, just lots and lots of neighbors and friends, and strangers.  I tried to find the balance between looking up, but not making eye contact.  Ever tried that?  It doesn't really work well.  And we started.

All the kids "together" on Christmas.
Tender mercies.
And Michael's voice rang out, clear and pure, "O come, O come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel."  The rest of us joined.  The second verse Mary, Michael and I sang the beginning and Joseph and David took over halfway through.

Somewhere in there, my friend caught my eye, the one who'd originally asked us to sing, the one whose family is incredibly, and professionally musically talented.  And she was smiling.  A gentle, warm, grateful smile.  And I knew our gift was acceptable, not only to the Christ Child and His Father, but to the rest of those listening.  And I had to blink back tears.  Her smile was the gift   needed

When we give what we can, He will accept it.  And what a blessing when others can be touched, too.

 The message of Christmas is that the visible material world is bound to the invisible spiritual world. ~Author Unknown

1 comment:

  1. "When we give what we can, he will accept it." I'm thankful for this! Such a beautiful reminder of asking for and expecting heavenly help. Thank you!