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No Gift Fit For a King


I've always adored Christmas. While we never were like, huge "Santa" kids, I love Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (for many different reasons). My childlike mentalities can explode at nearly the drop of a hat when we get to Christmas season. Flurries makes me smile outright, and snow makes me want to skip for joy. Cold nights make me giggle and let out puffing breaths like a dragon breathing smoke. Lights on houses have my inner monologue going, "Squee! It's so pretty!!" I sing along with songs and bounce in the car because it's Christmastime and everything feels magical.

There are many favorite Christmas songs of mine. "O Holy Night", "We Three Kings", and "Do You Hear What I Hear?" are probably the top 3.

And then there's "The Little Drummer Boy".

I connect with that song on a personal level. Every time a rendition comes on my iPod, (Yes. I use an iPod Classic. Yes. I acknowledge that makes me ancient. Guess what kids? I use a standalone GPS too! I still use a big ol' desktop computer for 90% of my internetting! I'm older than the Google!), I find myself struck by the second stanza. It's the part that goes like this:

"Little baby, I am a poor boy too.

I have no gift to bring that's fit to give a king.

Shall I play for you on my drum?"

I omitted the "par-um-pum-pum-pums" for obvious reasons. Because while they're wonderful little pieces that provide a beat to the song, they're not the part that get me.

I often feel like a poor child with nothing fitting to give the King of Creation. I imagine if I'd found myself among those to witness the Savior's birth, I'd blanch at the lack of present in my hands. Fear would ghost me and I'd frantically look around for something, anything, that might befit the King of kings. And then the sinking realization that I am without a gift. Just empty hands.

I don't even have a drum.

If I could manifest a string bass I might be able to cobble together a muscle-memory song from high school. But, it's a string bass. Not exactly the triumphant lead in the orchestra to carry the melody.

All I have - all I've ever had - is this story.

And I'm struck and left speechless sometimes when I can practically hear my Savior say with a smile,

"Tell me about it."

I know, if I found myself face to face with the Lord of Hosts, I'd tremblingly stand there, clutching the pages and pages and pages and probably fumble over the words. I'd stutter and shake. I'd occasionally mispronounce things. Because I do that in front of people.

Heck, I've never even read excerpts from my books aloud. To anyone.

But sometimes, when I'm sitting alone in front of my computer, and my fingers hit the keyboard, I can imagine Jesus sitting next to me, wearing that warm smile, and saying, "Tell me the story." As if he's captured by it and wants to know more. And God knows, He already knows the story and the twists and the turns. Because He boops my brain often enough to remind me that I - in many ways - am simply writing down what unfolds. And in those moments, I don't feel so afraid to read the story aloud to myself. To my King.

"The Little Drummer Boy" doesn't end in the second stanza. He plays. The song specifically says, he "played his best for Him." The MercyMe version of the song adds the lyrics, "I played my best for Christ."

I pray I write my best for Him. I pray often and hard for my efforts - however small and feeble they may seem - to ultimately point others to the Author of Creation. Because I'm a speck in eternity. And while this story means the world to me, I know that the ultimate destination of it is in the hands of the Creator to, Lord willing, reach that one person that the tale will impact.

So, my friends. I know what my drum is.

What's yours?

Because in case you forgot, the song ends with Jesus smiling at the Little Drummer Boy.

The little drummer boy, and his drum.


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