The Christmas Tree Lights
I was having lunch with a friend at the church café when I suddenly saw a little lad. He wore blue shorts and a light blue T shirt. He looked around three years old. His little eyes were bright. His dark hair rumpled. His purpose definite. He was walking towards the Christmas tree. My eyes were drawn to him.
The little boy walked to the tree and stood for a few moments looking at it. He cautiously put his hand out and touched a bright red Christmas bauble. He took it off the tree and ran back to his Mum. He showed it to her. She must have asked him to put it back. Very obediently, he trotted off and gently placed it back on the tree.
He pulled a chair and placed it to face the tree. Then he sat down. And watched it intently. His eyes shone. After a little while, he got down from the chair and went up to the tree. He bent down and touched the parcel of teddy bears that had been placed under it.
Yes, the tree fascinated him. And there I was, fascinated by his fascination!
Remember the Christmas tree I talked of in my last blog? The tree that I almost placed upside down? This was it. I wished then that I’d put the tree lights on beforehand. I was sure they this little tree gazer would have appreciated it even more. And then I realised it was never too late. I got up from where I was seated and went across to the tree. I bent down and flicked the switch to an on position. The lights came on at once, dancing around the tree bringing with it a myriad colours and fresh beauty to the Christmas tree.
Did the little lad like them? Of course he did. He stood enjoying the flickering of the reds, the blues, the yellows and the greens as they came on and went off intermittently. Sometimes the yellow lights stayed on for a few moments. Sometimes it was the red and green. Sometimes the blue lights danced merrily.
I turned to him and smiled. “Do you like the tree?” I asked. He nodded, looking a little solemn. And then, he flashed a cute little smile that revealed a lovely dimple on his cheek. I had another idea. I bent down and picked up the large parcel of teddy bears that had been placed under the tree by a generous lady from our church. I took one of the little bears out of the bag and offered it to him. Did he like it? He was rapt. He took it from me with a quick shy smile and went running to his Mum.
I walked over and explained to her that I’d given it to him as a gift and he could take it home with him. She was very grateful. I went back to my friend and my lunch with fresh joy in my heart, the joy of Christmas and the joy of giving. Putting on those lights wasn’t difficult to do. But what dividends it paid! Seeing the little boy’s elation made me feel warm inside of me. Watching the lights flickering on and off that tree made me think of Christmas and what it means to the world.
I wonder what other ways I could light up the Christmas tree this year?
Not literally but figuratively.
The world is full of sad and lonely people. Those for whom life is very difficult. Those who are unhappy. Those who are terminally ill. Those who are friendless. Those who don’t have sufficient money to buy gifts for their children this Christmas. Those who will eat their Christmas lunch alone.
How can I light the lights of their ‘Christmas tree’? Whom can I share some Christmas joy with? Whom is God asking me to bless this Christmas?
“Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”
Jesus (Mathew 25:40)