In an old family flowered chair, draped in slip-cover white, I rock my baby boy to sleep as night settles in around us. His lavender-vanilla scent imprints on my heart, and I am so thankful.
A soft, lilting baby boy voice breaks the silence:
"Where's Baby Sheesus? Where he go? Momma...Momma..."
Soft feet shuffle against my knees as he scrambles to the floor. With curiousity and wonderment, I follow his two-foot frame as he sidesteps down the stairs and runs into the dimly lit living room. He pauses by the tree with its white, tinkly lights and his rosebud mouth hangs slightly open in awe. Only seconds pass before he is searching for the Baby again. His little bottom pooches out as he kneels down, peering beneath the scratchy branches, searching for something that is missing...
"There is!! Momma! Baby Sheesus!"
"Yes, baby. That's Baby Jesus. Are you ready to go night-night now?"
Soft feet shuffle again across the slick hardwood floor, up the matted carpeted stairs, and into baby boy's room. He runs to his crib, waiting for me to lift him into its safe keeping for the night.
The plastic Baby Jesus is gripped tightly by his toddler fingers, and I pray over baby boy as I drape fuzzy blue blankets over his sweet self. John Deere tractors and Hess trucks line the siderails, and Baby Jesus has a place of honor between baby boy and the lines of toddler toys.
Baby Jesus. A plastic Fisher Price toy. A lesson in humility and love and wonderment.
My baby boy searched for the Baby Jesus, grabbed him tight, and kept him close. He wasn't content leaving him under the tree, all nice and neat and color-coordinated.
How often do we leave our faith, our Jesus, under the tree? How many times do we go through the calendar year, full of self, only to bring Jesus out for a few weeks to look so serene during the Christmas season?
Do you hold Him close each day? Do you take him to work with you...on errands...at the bank...coffee shop...school...
Do you keep Him as your focus, in front of your career...goals...yes, even spouse and family and children...
He came not to be left under a tree or in a church pew.
He came to BE....
the Father to the fatherless
the Companion to the lonely
the Love to the unloved
the Savior to the sinful
Where is Jesus? Conveniently boxed away until next season?
Don't leave Him under the tree...
He hasn't left you, nor will He ever leave you. It is we who make the choice to go the journey alone.
Hours later, I crept up the stairs and held my breath as I walked into baby's room. Where would Baby Jesus be? Perhaps I had dreamed this precious happening; perhaps this was just a circumstantial event. Leaning over the crib, I saw my miracle with The Miracle.
And I pray it always stays that way.