I had the chance to drive out to Oshawa this morning and witness my chosen-niece seeing Santa. Just yesterday I was saying how this Christmas is just a little off for me – all my routines are messed up. And it doesn’t sit well with me.
While driving out this morning, I put my “everything Christmas” playlist on shuffle and one of the songs that came up was Third Day’s “Like a Child” from their album Christmas Offerings. It got me wistfully thinking of how Christmas was always perfect when I was a kid. Now, I am smart enough to know that it wasn’t perfect, I’ve just forgotten the difficult/upsetting/boring/less-than-perfect moments. But there is something about the way kids approach Christmas: full-steam-ahead with enthusiasm and innocence.
Flash forward to Aly’s visit with Santa. She loved every moment of it. She got to wear her beautiful dress and her gold shoes. She got to have her picture taken. She got a candy cane (and one for Patchy, her build-a-bear dog who was dressed in a doll-size version of Aly’s dress). She got to decorate a cookie. She got her face painted. For my darling girl, it was a magical morning. And her enthusiasm, her innocence, her pure in-the-moment joy, were contagious.
Sometimes I think Jesus came as a baby to help us remember and value all that children have to offer. To help us remember a time before we understood the commercialism that surrounds us, or the family politics that make this season less than merry and bright.
I am so thankful for the lessons that Aly and her brothers, Cam and Nate, have to teach me. I am thankful that their child’s ways remind me of some of the things that God values. Things like vulnerability and innocence and purity…that God values enough to send his only Son not as a conquering King, but as a helpless baby. So that we might remember how important it is to approach life like a child.
Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them. Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. “And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me. But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea.
Matthew 18:2-6 NLT