This year Christmas songs are pouring into every inch of our cozy, ministry-provided home. (Pandora Station, Christmas Hymns.) I turn up the volume so I can hear the tunes upstairs or downstairs and as I go about my tasks and projects. At times I hum or sing along, enjoying the reminders of this season of wonder, of God Immanuel. Other times, the melodies become pleasant background sounds of holiday ambience.
The steady rhythm of the song of the Drummer Boy almost slides by unnoticed, and then I hear, “Our finest gifts we bring…”
And I’m reminded of a verse from Christina Rossett’s poem, “In the Bleak Midwinter” (1872).
What can I give him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb.
If I were a wise man, I would do my part.
Yet what I can, I give Him.
I give Him my heart.
Even as I make and wrap gifts for the children in my life, for loved ones, for special friends, I find I shrink away from offering any gift to God. Is it possible that He is expectant and waiting for a Christmas gift from me? If so, what can I give him, to use the words from the poem, “poor as I am”?
In the moment of that question I realize I feel and thoroughly believe that anything I have to give, at Christmas or any other time, is tainted and so very lacking. Surely He wouldn’t want that from me. Maybe I should wait until I have something better to offer? Something more beautiful, more perfect?
And yet with tiny baby hands come to earth as God in flesh, He reaches toward my heart and I feel their tug.
Your heart—just as it is—is why the Father sent me.
And those arms that grew so strong and open, so powerful and transforming, that stretched wide upon a cross, nails tearing flesh—they wrap around me in a love that I cannot deny and invite the giving of my small offering.
And so my finest gift I bring. My heart, my all.