It’s amazing what an angel will do. She sat on the low wooden bench and watched as the people passed by her. Her faded yellow dress did not match the orange socks pulled just below her knees. Tangled hair and a face unmarked by soap whispered her motherless fate. She held in one hand a beanie baby—a three legged dog, while in the other she clutched a mystery bag of who knows what treasure. Her feet lightly swung as if to some hidden melody. One shoe revealed a severed heel that if she walked would have flapped to its own rap. The other shoe no longer had lace long enough to tie a bow.
On this day in the mall we will learn much about human nature . . .
Ø Some pass her by oblivious to her existence, too filled with thoughts of what must be done.
Ø Some glimpse her appearance and turn in disgust.
Ø Some point her out and smirk the sneer of the unkind.
Ø Some engage her eyes and quickly look away.
Ø Some never see her because of who they are.
Ø Some never see her because of who they aren’t.
Not far away from her silent perch, Santa sits by a brightly lit, 16-foot noble, while a quartet band belts out their brass rendition of Jingle Bells. A line of children stand impatiently, waiting to sit on the hefty lap of their bearded hero--to fill his ears with their plotted dreams. None of them see the child with moistened eyes or acknowledge her presence. After all, she is a flat note in a chorus of celebration.
What thoughts go through her tender mind--this child who sits in frozen time? Across the way, an old woman stops and takes in the surrounding scene. Her hair is gray and brushed into neat waves that have lapped a million shores. She walks slowly but with calm assurance. She approaches the child, bends down and lovingly looks inside her widened eyes. No words pass between them as she extends her curled fingers to join warm hands. Then she leads her to the front of the line.
“Hey, you can’t cut! Go back to the end of the line.”
“What are you doing lady? That girl can’t see Santa! She doesn’t belong here.”
The voices rise in sirens of protests. And then abruptly stop before the voice of a ten-year old who finds compassion a higher form of valor than selfishness. “Come on. You can take my place.” Surprised by this unforeseen action, the crowd grows silent and stares. The old woman with her hands on the back of the girl guides her forward and helps her climb into the large red lap of this year’s Santa. He bends down after gently brushing her hair and asks her what she would like for Christmas. She looks up and smiles. He asks her again aware of an impatient throng, but she only stares in his hazel eyes.
And then he understands. This yellow butterfly cannot speak.
Napoleon Bonaparte once said, “Where flowers degenerate man cannot live.” What once was a celebration of God’s greatest gift to mankind has become a commercial hunting season. Jesus said, “a tree is recognized by its fruit” (Matthew 12:33). Perhaps those are the words we should ponder.
May we be the aroma of God’s grace to a lonely world—not the pungent smell that emanates from a sinful nature. “Let brotherly love continue. Don’t neglect to show hospitality, for by doing this some have welcomed angels as guests without knowing it” (Hebrews 13:1,2).
Romans 8:5,8--For those who live according to the flesh think about the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, about the things of the Spirit . . . Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
Romans 13:14--But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no plans to satisfy the fleshly desires.
The test of a nature is the atmosphere it produces.—Oswald Chambers in Shade of His Hand
©1998 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)