I am that little child with that flimsy toy drum strapped around his angular little boy shoulder. Come, they told him. The sticks strike that moon face, commanding air and passers-by to listen to the rhythm, the foolish parade of one. I am that simple, repeat refrain. And even then, he does it better. He found the drum and the sticks and the bravery to begin. Honest talk, I'm getting a little worked up facing this blank page. I am sad for being gone, sad for not playing my song (foolish as it sounds), sad for hiding my gift under a bushel basket full of distractions - mindless social media and early bedtimes with a tired brain.
My wet mess of a face almost matches the mess I meant to clean in our apartment when Pat left with Zella two hours ago. I don't know why, but imagining myself into the story of the little drummer boy is just so exactly where I am right now. I guess the small gesture - lifting strap over shoulder and calling on a hidden, inner repertoire - convicts all my defenses.
Whew, I didn't know I needed this kind of cry - let me take a moment. Let's all take a moment.
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I know - it's not technically Christmas music. But sometimes the song beating rhythms behind our ribcage isn't jingling bells. Most times, in my case. The Advent season is not triumphant. It is precious beauty, but it is sad too. We are the reason Jesus came all the way down, all the terrifying way down, from celestial glory to stomachs growling and torrential storms. I am both loved by this act and reminded that there was reason for His condescension. I am the reason.
My proneness to wander so pressed on the heart of God until it broke Him and compassion poured out in the real life of a little babe.
Anyway, I salute you - little boy and your silly pa rum pum pum pum refrain. Thanks for being brave enough to bang on your drum and make a grown woman cry while thinking about it. Here is me striking my drum in your honor.