SIMPLE GIFTS CHRISTMAS EVE: THE GIFT OF WEAKNESS
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. —Luke 2:12
It was my mother’s first time back to church following a stroke that had paralyzed her right side. As we pushed Mom’s wheelchair up the narrow side aisle, I searched for an inconspicuous spot where no one would notice her eye patch or her slouch.
Unfortunately, as Dad parked Mom’s wheelchair in the aisle, the children participating in the Christmas pageant began marching up the aisle behind us. Dad had no choice but to push Mom toward the specially built plywood stage. Finally, Dad veered aside and parked Mom in the only available spot — right next to the grand piano.
As the program began, the children playing Mary and Joseph knocked on the door of a cardboard-box inn and the innkeeper bellowed, “There’s no room for you here! The only place I can offer is the stable.” I wondered if Mary and Joseph felt awkward and out of place as I did, with Mom sitting up front in the curve of a grand piano.
After church as I hurried Mom out, a woman stopped us, leaned down with tears in her eyes and said, “We’re so glad you’re back. You’re such an answer to prayer.” Suddenly I remembered that many people at church had been praying for Mom. If I’d succeeded in keeping Mom neatly tucked away in an obscure corner, they might not have seen her and been able to share in the joy of her return.
Father, the cries of a newborn heralded the coming of Your kingdom; thank You for using the weak things of this world as signs of Your powerful presence. —Karen Barber
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