Possessing all Kingdoms and crowns,
He gladly laid them down
At the Father’s feet, to give up his seat
At God’s right hand.
Willingly leaving his sovereign land,
He took a place most lowly:
Disguising what was holy.
He chose to pose a humble child,
Weak and helpless; yet he smiled
When at first he looked around
And smelled the mess and heard the sounds
Of simple earth and simple beasts
And simple, foolish us.
(He never even made a fuss.)
How circumstances change so fast!
Those first will, by the end, be last.
The wise, the rich, the proud, the strong-
In storming heaven’s doors, proved wrong.
And if I want to enter in,
I must become a child, like him.
The poem was written a few days before one of our good old-fashioned stress-laden insanity-producing Christmases of the past. Probably about three or four years ago. In a frantic last-ditch effort to tack a little Jesus on to the pagan parade of materialistic magic, I decided that instead of giving my friends one more knick-knack they didn’t need, book they wouldn’t have time to read, or high-caloric health hazard to eat, I would give that money to worthy causes in their honor. I chose two ministries which are close to my heart, having worked a little in each. One is in Russia, the other local and inner-city, but each involves children.
Being me, I decided that a notice about the donation wasn’t, by itself, sufficient as a gift-substitute. I had to spruce it up a bit before licking the envelope. I sat down on the bed with a legal pad, and the poem wrote itself in less than 10 minutes. Again, I’m not thinking this is Shakespeare or Donne. But the likelihood of me doing that without a “helper” is slim to none.
‘My’ words so often come back to haunt me.
Our ‘circumstances changed’ in the blink of an eye.
‘And in a moment...’
...life changed forever. Yours could, too, someday.
From the top to the bottom; from the front of the line to the back of the bus; from the heights to the depths. From a position of strength...to a position of weakness. From take-charge independence to child-like dependency.
(Which is where you finally learn to receive.)
There is someone who wants to give.
My reading yesterday: “Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. For even the Son of man came not be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matt. 20:26-28)
The Creator of the Universe condensed Himself into the form of a poor Jewish baby in a cow trough...so that I could understand how to receive...
...like a helpless little child.
God bless us, everyone.