I wonder as I wander out under the sky
How Jesus the Saviour did come for to die
For poor on’ry people like you and like I;
I wonder as I wander out under the sky
~ Christmas Carol
I’ve been wondering as I’m pondering a tale lately. An anonymous one I heard once of someone arriving in Heaven.
Eyes wide at glory never before seen, joy spinning clarity all around, the newcomer follows hand in Hand with the Lord, room to room through His great mansion. Like Max Lucado once depicted for his readers, the newcomer spies pictures of himself through his earthly years, framed and held in honor, on the elegantly carved tables and shelves. Reminders of a Father’s cherishing. Evidence of the work of His Spirit through his heart and hands, proudly displayed here…there… on the walls like masterpieces.
When all at once, they come upon a room filled to the brim with shimmering boxes gaily tied in luminous ribbons…
“Lord, what is this place?” the newcomer whispers, awed.
“This – this is where I have stored every good and beautiful gift I wanted to give you,” the Lord gently explains. “And to bless those I sent as my messengers in the giving, too…”
Questioning, the newcomer looks into His eyes. Eyes so filled with blue and lavender light they soak deep into his heart with starry Truth.
“I sent a friend to deliver this one,” the Lord points. “But you said you didn’t need it. Didn’t want it… could get it on your own. You were determined to handle it yourself. Causing the one I sent to leave bereft of blessing I intended for them, too…
“This one over here… I asked another to bring you, my cherished heir… but you refused to take it from her hands. This… I sent the angels to bring in healing answer to your prayer, but you didn’t recognize my signet ring…thought you didn’t deserve it…” On and on He explains, revealing secret blessings left long unread, unopened… even worse, discarded.
“Lord,” the newcomer breathes, abashed. “I’m sorry. I didn’t see…”
If Jesus had wanted for any wee thing
A star in the sky or a bird on the wing
Or all of God’s Angels in heaven to sing
He surely could have it, ’cause he was the King
And He has made us His Royal heirs… wanting to pour out His joy, His gifts, to send us out as His light…to lavish us with His Heart…
As I mull over this story, George Bailey…so like us… comes to mind once more. In the climax scene that never fails to well my eyes along with his. Humbled, joyous, graciously taking and receiving the blessing of so many neighbors and loved ones and maybe even a stranger or two….
“Isn’t it wonderful?” Billy burst out. “Mary did it, George! She told a few people you were in trouble and they scattered all over town, collecting money…’If George is in trouble count on me!’”
George could only stand there, holding Zuzu in his arms, grinning…at what a fool he’d been.
Mr. Gower held up a glass cracker jar stuffed with bills. “I made the rounds of my charge accounts!”
Violet hurried up to the table, still dressed in furs and wearing that silly hat. “I’m not going to go, George,” she said, returning his money with a grin. “I changed my mind.”
Another man pushed his way to the table, calling out, “I wouldn’t have a roof over my head, if it wasn’t for you, George.”
A telegram…”my office is authorized to send you twenty five thousand…”
Mary choked back her tears and sought George’s eyes across the crowd. George gazed into her face and felt overwhelmed by it all. He buried his face in Zuzu’s shoulders, unable to count his blessings because they were far, far too numerous…
~ from “It’s A Wonderful Life, A Novel, 50th Anniversary
And I can’t help wondering…
Before the terror and transformation of this night… might George have missed out on this wondrous blessing, perhaps too proud to be the receiver and not the giver?
Might the ones he had been helping all those years…giving of his time, heart, money, encouragement… have missed the gift of being God’s hands and messengers this night, too? Does it take an angel-happening for us to understand… receive or bear… grace gifts?
To find they are falling daily like snowflake wonder, from Heaven’s windows. Reminding us of the greatest one…Emmanuel… His glorious birth announced in song by the angels on a midnight clear… and evermore…
Are we turning them away, unknowingly? Feeling like we can do it ourselves. We don’t want to be thought the needy ones.
And… Missing out on receiving… or on the blessing of bearing His gifts to others? Keeping someone else from receiving a blessing in their giving?
- An offer from a friend to help carry life’s sudden, unwieldy packages.
- An unexpected Christmas box on your doorstep.
- The whisper in your heart to reach out and take this gift… overflow it on to another…
There was a time when I might have felt awkward receiving a gift such as the one God sent me the other day… (When answers are still on the way: Part One) – like it is much easier to be the giver…
But now, like George… I want to open my palms wide to receive from His Hand. And to give from them back again… like the believing woman in the Bible whose jars overflowed with unending oil.
To cradle the Savior. Receive, hold close His light poured out. Shine it like a sparkler that never fades. Because His gifts are never just for me alone.
Have you found some unexpected gifts of His hands in “your mail” or “under your tree” lately?
Is there a whisper on your heart to carry some to someone who needs just what you can give?
- A prayer.
- A ringle of coins.
- A hand to hold.
- A home-crafted Christmas valentine of an hour or so… and ordinary I love you’s.
Or do you feel a nudge to go ahead…receive what someone else is offering?
It may just be His heavensent angel is on our doorstep.
Holding a lantern ready to light our candles so we can light another and another…
And those in darkness will come to our light… instead of turning on our world in rampaging destruction. To receive healing. Stop the madness of a world gone amuck.
Warming and softening the hearts of all the Bailey Mr. Potters…
One gift of His heart at a time.
When Mary birthed Jesus ’twas in a cow’s stall
With wise men and farmers and shepherds and all
But high from God’s heaven, a star’s light did fall
And the promise of ages it then did recall.
~ Christmas Carol, I wonder as I wander…
© Pam Depoyan
I’d love to hear your stories of His unexpected gifts on your doorstep!