Early in December my youngest son and I found ourselves quietly alone in the house. The big boys were off somewhere with their Daddy, and this little one and I had an evening to ourselves. We powered up the DVD player and watched "The Little Drummer Boy."
It seems silly, but the story rekindled in me a yearning I had forgotten. During my last Christmas as a campus minister I showed the video to my college students. Before the evening was over I gave each one of them a glitter-covered glass drum ornament, a reminder to give the stuff of who they are to Jesus. Fast forward three years later to my living room. I sat holding my little one, watching in wonder as another little boy who had neither gold, frankincense, or myrrh to offer the King of kings simply began playing his drum. His drumming was the gift.
Tears rolling, heart lurching, mind running, I sat there trying to remember where my ornament was. After tucking my son into his bed I made my way upstairs to the attic. The search was on.
I took me a couple of days to find it, but soon it was hanging on my tree with all the other memories each ornament represented.
I find myself singing the song, rum-pum-pumming everywhere. All this pa-rum-pa-pum-pumming has me thinking about what exactly I have that is of any value to the King of kings. Even as this year closes the song echoes in me, until even my cells seem to be humming and strumming and singing along. What can I give that has worth? What can I offer Jesus?
And my heart keeps beating. Drumming. Humming. Pa-rum-pa-pum-pum, rum-pa-pum-pum, rum-pa-pum-puming.
What I like about the new year is that it gives each one of us a new start, a new opportunity to get something right. A chance to try again. I feel like I need that more than anything right now. I need more than anything to know that my life has meaning beyond myself, that I am a part of God making a difference.
This desire was awakened within me early in December with startling clarity. I was visiting the elementary school where my husband is principal. Together we were handing out small gifts for those who worked there. As we passed through the cafeteria I saw a woman helping a little boy about six years old with his shoes. She held his sneaker in her hands. Then I saw his foot resting on the floor while he waited, sock-less. The image stayed with me, always in the back of my mind, niggling, keeping me awake at night.
What began keeping me awake even more were the memories that image evoked. Times when I was about six years old, struggling in school, having some needs that others met, other needs that were invisible to the outside world. My heart woke up to a long buried ache and a deep need to heal it by somehow making a difference for these little ones.
Christmas day has come and is now past. I am writing this post on New Year's Eve eve. Tomorrow we will begin the countdown to a new year. With the ticking my heart keeps pumping, drumming, humming. I am offering its beating as gift. I am hoping that God can do something with it, that God can move it and in doing so move me into His purpose, His plan for my life. I realize I need it to keep beat with a Song beyond me, to make music that heals the brokenness, comforts the loneliness, restores hope to hopelessness, and brings joy to the weary.
My new year's resolution: to make my heart available to Christ, to offer it as a vessel for Christ to fill however He sees fit. This isn't so much about giving Jesus my heart so He can take me to Heaven as much as it is about giving Jesus my heart so He can pour out some Heaven on earth. I feel so limited in what I can do for the King. I look at the things others are doing, knowing I don't have that kind of thing in my pocket right now. And so I listen to the song playing in my heart and offer it with the hope that it is enough to make Him smile too.
Happy New Year!