Wise men follow a star for a long time through strange lands. They are looking for a king. When the star leads them to the boy, they do not trouble themselves that a peasant child stands before them, they see a king. They kneel. They worship. They offer gifts befitting royalty.
I don’t know how to follow a star, yet the heavens beckon. I long for that which is good and true. On my best days I pursue the glimmers. We’ve traded camels for cars, but the journey still stretches to endless some days.
It is difficult to recognize salvation in the simple and unsung. People talk about the wisemen risking Herod’s wrath, but no one talks about the courage it took to kneel before someone so unrecognized. To insist with their gifts that this unlikely baby was exactly who they were looking for.
So wise men three, or however many you be, here’s to a year of courageous epiphanies . . .
In the tears of a defeated nine year old in the bathroom, the siren call to set aside the lessons and love the girl. Maybe not just the girl. Maybe others, myself, the world.
In the stomping of a six year old, the insistent invitation to express my own frustration more gently.
In the lengthy explanation of Lego worlds, a glimpse of wonder. Things live and move and breathe without my orchestration or knowledge.
In the impassioned hopes and dreams of a 14 year old, a dare to throw caution to the wind and let the fire of love run madly down the hallways of my heart.
I took a nap on Dec. 30th. My husband met me with delight when I woke up. There was a surprise, he said. Downstairs I found him standing where the Christmas tree had been, grinning.
Decorations, lights, everything. Done, he said.
Thank you, I said softly. (The tree cannot come down before January 1, I thought. I never got to sit for one last night and look at the lights. I wanted to cry.)
You’re not happy, he said. I thought you would be happy. I’ve been excited for almost an hour.
I’m happy that you love me, I said.
Every hour or so for the rest of the day we both said the same things over again.
I thought you would be happy.
It was kind of you to try and surprise me.
The tree’s absence made me sad but the face of the man who loved me was there too. He had failed to love me as I wished to be loved. But he loved me. Epiphany.
Love has a history of awkward packaging. The baby came wearing diapers undoubtedly full at times. May we have the wisdom to recognize the moments of our salvation, the courage to kneel, and the good sense to bring royal gifts to the least of these.