Psalm 139:13-15, 18b
You are the one who created my innermost parts;
you knit me together while I was still in my mother’s womb.
I give thanks to you that I was marvelously set apart.
Your works are wonderful — I know that very well.
My bones weren’t hidden from you
when I was being put together in a secret place,
when I was being woven together in the deep parts of the earth.
If I came to the very end — I’d still be with you.
“I believe that Christmas is for children.” — Doris Walker
“Do you want to see a miracle?” I asked. The eyes of Taylor, my five-year-old grandson, widened.
We piled into my second-hand Chevy and off we went.
Taylor was looking out both sides, searching for a miracle he had been promised.
Along the curb, in front of the house where I had once lived, were two large trees.
“The miracle is: I pulled those two trees out of the ground with one hand.”
Then, I began to share with my five-year-old grandson, about the miracle of growth.
“Forty-five years ago, the two trees looked like healthy weeds. They were growing along a fence row behind our church. I needed some trees in the yard of our new little house on Odom Avenue.”
Those trees taught Taylor and me several lessons.
First, growing things need space. I remember carefully measuring three feet back from the curb. But, alas, that wasn’t enough. Now those trees were crowding the curb.
Growing things need care, too. I had an old electric lawn mower. I carefully mowed around those trees for 13 years, and never touched either of them.
Growing things need attention. I planted St. Augustine grass trimmings around my trees. I thought, until the trees could give us shade, I could give shade to their roots. That is where I was sure to water my yard, too.
Small trees that begin life the size of weeds need attention and protection and love and care and space.
On the first Advent, before there really was an Advent, God was giving growth and care and protection and attention. There, the Savior of the world was developing.
Gracious God, as people growing in faith, we will always need your love, your care, your attention. We will always need space to wonder and grow in commitment and service to you. Keep us growing in our sensitivity and sympathy to the needs of those about us who have their own needs to grow. In the name of him who inspires our growing. Amen.