Saturday, December 8, 2012

Turning Your Back

If you follow my blog, you're aware that my family is in temporary housing right now. You can read more about it here, if you'd like. But "temporary" is taking on a new meaning lately: You see, the holidays are upon us, and we're opening boxes which we never intended to have to open in this place. We thought we'd be moved into a parsonage somewhere by now.

But we're not. Evidently, God's plan is for us to be here for right now. And we're okay with that. Really. Although I must admit that opening these Christmas boxes pushes my buttons a little. However, we have an almost-six-year-old, and she deserves Christmas! So, I have located most of the decorations boxes, and we have put up my daughter's favorites.

You know the excitement of wee ones as you open the boxes of sparklies and shinies. My daughter was dancing about, grabbing each thing, setting them up in her own special way. We limited the decorations to non-breakables this year because we have a new kitten, but it was still thrilling for her. As you can see above, she even added her own toy horses to Santa's sleigh as "reindeer." (And you can see there are unopened boxes in the background!)

We have several nativity scenes among our decorations, but one in particular belongs to our youngest. When she found it, she looked all around to find the perfect place for the figures. She found a nook in the entertainment center and carefully placed all her figures. Here's how it looked:
I was a little surprised when I saw it because all the people were turned away from her, into the darkness of the nook.

As I continued to put up decorations and lights, I wondered why she would have the people turned backwards to the living room. Finally, I asked her, "Honey, why are all the people backwards?"

"They're not, Mom. They're looking at Jesus!" Like that's where they should  be looking. And indeed, when I took a closer look, they were all facing Jesus.

Looking at Jesus. Focusing on the Christ Child. Wonderful Counselor. Emmanuel. Messiah. Savior. King of Kings. God With Us.

Right where we should be looking. Focusing. Meditating. Instead of worrying about getting those last stocking stuffers. Or fussing about which side dishes should be served. Or wondering when we can possibly get everyone together.

It takes my breath away. How simple it is for her. How much she understands at not-even-quite-six. I thank God for her in my life, every single day. For the surprise blessing that she was, and for the enduring blessing that she is

Help me to come to you, Oh God, as a little child. Understanding that it's not backwards to focus on Jesus during this season. It's right. So right.


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