This is the last Tuesday with Teri for 2009. Is it me or was that a particularly fast year? I had hoped for some profound “farewell to the year” kind of message to share with you, but I suppose for now profound thought escapes me.
I spent today starting to de-Christmatize our home. Yep, time to untrim the tree and pack up all the “boughs of holly”. I do a poor job each year packing away fragile ornaments. I don’t actually do this intentionally, I just am not a very detail oriented, patient packer I guess. The down side of course is an early demise of our more fragile ornaments. The upside is it makes for a suspense filled unpacking each Christmas as I anxiously peer through the boxes to see what lucky ornaments have lived to see another season. It is sort of like a survival of the fittest for Christmas décor.
There is one Christmas item that will never fall victim to my careless end of season storage, our precious Christmas tree angel. As I gently restored her to her place of honor in a curio cabinet, I was reminded one last time of her message. I have included a copy below of a Christmas devotion about her.
As the New Year approaches we tend to do a lot of self evaluation. It seems this is satan’s preferred time to attack my self esteem and heap discouragement on my plate. The “yearend review” of my life is seldom packed with positive thoughts. But my Christmas angel reminds me…my God loves me in ALL my imperfection and His grace is more than enough.
May each of you have a wonderful new year of seeking to see Him more and resting in the peace of His love and grace.
A Christmas Tree Angel, a Reminder of Grace
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. These days she resides in a curio cabinet until we bring her out each Christmas.
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 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 reattaching her long held candle to her now misshaped 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 for 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