Sunday, December 1, 2013

Completing Christmas

With a newborn, a one year old, AND a two year mother did not have a lot of spare time.  This was before microwaves, disposable diapers, Disney DVDs, the Internet or any other kind of electronic babysitter that we enjoy today.  Yet she still managed to find time to make us all homemade Christmas stockings that year.

While working on this project one day, her one year old daughter began vying for her attention.  She toddled up to mother and tried to pull herself up onto her lap.  Mother moved the child aside and continued to sew.  Again, the child approached mother, whining and yapping for some attention and again, mother gently turned the child around and urged her to play elsewhere.  When the toddler approached the third time, mother simply stuck out her leg and held the infant at bay with her foot while she continued her work.  "I'm doing this for you" she heard herself say in exasperation. 

Her own words, mixed with her daughters tears, made her realize that something was wrong with this picture.  She stopped sewing, pinned the remaining pieces in place and picked up her daughter.

She never finished the stocking.  She hung it that year just as it was and every year after that.  For me, the little girl in the story, that stocking would hold all the goodies Santa would bring for years to come.  For my mother, it would hold a far greater treasure.

What was that treasure?  Was it knowing that she had saved me from a life of sadness and tragedy?  Would have making me wait another 10 minutes have ruined my psyche beyond repair?  No.  Mother could have finished the stocking and her baby girl would have been just fine.

But it was not finishing the stocking that makes it so special.  By not finishing the stocking, she got to know what it is like for all those who "lose their life for the Lord's sake and find it."  She got to know what it is to hold the kingdom of God on her lap.  "Suffer the little children to come unto me, for such is the kingdom of God."

If a Christmas stocking ever was or will be about Christ...this one will and is. 

It represents one small battlefield...that between the natural woman and the Christ-like woman, and she won that battle.

But even though this stocking was never finished, it could not be more complete.  Much as the Lord, the Author and Finisher of our faith, completes us when we choose to put aside our personal ambitions and agendas and choose to love His children instead.