Each year I continue to be reminded of God’s grace as I see her oddly perched atop our tree. This year her placement on the tree was a bit precarious.
Traditionally our daughter, with the help of her dad, had the task of placing her on top the tree. This has become a much more complex endeavor as our trees have gotten taller and so has she, but not matter what, they always pulled it off. This year we celebrate Christmas with new family members. Our son now has a wonderful wife and two precious kids. Our daughter is now married as well. So dad decided THIS year her husband would have the task of getting her, and the tiny/fragile angel, to the top of the tree. Let’s just say hilarity ensued as she sat on his shoulders and they wobbled toward the tree. After a few failed attempts, and a little more repair work, she finally sits in her place of honor.
She is more worn this year, she lists even more and it does look as if at any moment she will topple over….it has been quite a year for her. It’s been quite a year for all of us…but there she is still. She continues to remind me of the gift of grace, the gift of not being perfect, yet being loved.
May you find it easy to grant grace to others as you bask in the grace of our God. I hope you have enjoyed the advent posts this year as much as I have enjoyed writing them. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and new beginnings!
The Christmas Tree Angel
I’m not sure where she came from. I’m not even certain of her age. I do know that she sat atop the Christmas tree for many of my growing up years, quietly presiding over each holiday season. I acquired her from my mother many years ago.
Her gold foil, cardboard wings, once ended in perfect points extending her stature to seven inches. Now her wing span is slightly reduced, as the tips went from being slightly bent, to folded, until they eventually tore off. Her dark red velvet dress, trimmed with gold brick brack, fits snuggly to her waist before flowing over her cardboard form. Her once silky, radiant white hair, now hangs in brittle coils around her shoulders. A little gold foil halo covers a place on her head where some of her hair has given way to the passage of time.
Her head and hands are made of wax, as is the candle she holds in one hand. I remember her as a beautiful lady, her face perfect and delicate. Those qualities are now faded. Her head, once held high and straight, has melted somewhat. It now bows lovingly downward and a bit to the right. Two years ago a significant amount of time and effort was put into re-attaching her long held candle to her now miss shaped hand. Yep, she’s a bit of mess you might say. I like that about her.
She doesn’t light up or sparkle, and quite often she is too small for the tree, making her look even more out of place. But I look forward to her presence in my living room each Christmas. Late at night, when the tree is lit and others have gone on to bed, I find myself thinking of her and all we have in common.
I too, know what it’s like to have my wings bent and torn. I know what it feels like when your body gives itself over to the challenges of time. My hair is no longer silky or radiant, and I only wish had a halo to hide the places where it has become thin. I understand the sagging of her shoulders and the bowing of her head. I have felt the
weight every mother bears for her family. I know the need to bow my head in constant prayer. I love her imperfection. She’s a holiday reminder that God loves us in our imperfection.
A love full of grace, a savior born to take on the sin of the world, a reason to celebrate, reflected in the melted features and unraveled edges of our Christmas tree Angel.
God’s love was revealed among us in this way. God sent His son into the world so we might live through Him. 1 John 4:9