Sunday, December 31, 2006

That Special Tree 12-06


When I was nine, we all were poor -
lived in a house with wooden floor.
At eight o'clock the clock would chime
and then I knew that it was time.
It was okay; I had but three -
Christmas presents just for me!
No gold, frankincense, and myrrh –
but ‘funner’ toys I would prefer!

I snatched the first one - it was small,
tore the wrapping, threw it all.
Pulled back the tape, opened it.
I then plopped down in one big fit.
In the bottom of the box,
I saw sand and a few rocks.
A note said, "Son - I know you care
about the Magi way back there."

They traveled far through desert sand,
not knowing where the star would stand.
It stopped above a stable where -
a baby laid in loving prayer."
As I looked up not very far
on top our tree we had a star....
I sat below that pretty tree,
all decorated, just so for me.

The second present – beautiful,
but what'd I find? -A ball of wool.
The note said, "Son, some shepherds came.
They glorified and praised His name.
“Our house is comfy and so warm,
no chills come in from snow or storm;
But not the stable there of old -
it was drafty, dusty, somewhat cold..."

But now the biggest one of all -
the third and last and oh, so tall;
I carefully unwrapped the bow -
with widened smile my face aglow.
I pulled the wrapping off a bit -
to read the box for what I'd get.
The box was simple. Just plain brown,
so then I tore the wrapping down.

Anticipation turned to shock,
as I spied in that bigger box.
I froze in full bewilderment.
I didn't know quite what it meant.
For it was empty. Nothing there!
Just a present full of air!
Except for yet another note,
signed by daddy - here's his quote:

"Baby Jesus, our present.
In His service, His intent,
He took our burdens, sin and strife,
so you might have eternal life.
Empty? No. This box is not -
and never will its contents rot.
This box is full. Don't think it's odd.
It's filled with love. A gift from God."

Then I woke up - was just a dream!
It wasn't daddy's funny scheme!
So many presents - many mine.
I put God off. There wasn't time!
First I'd enjoy my favorite day,
Full of candy, fun and play.
So many days - it finally came!
Christmas day - so I took aim!

I scrambled off my bed and ran,
down the hall with my big plan.
The tree looked tall. It seemed so far -
and way on top a big, bright star.
And in my socks across the floors,
I slid along past all the doors.
Down that hall into the room,
were many presents I'd consume.

The tree I ran to down the hall -
was somewhat different, somewhat small.
And I was caught quite unaware
as I stopped beneath our star up there.
Just like the wise men from afar,
that followed their revealing star.
Above the stable where it’d stay,
where donkeys stood and Jesus lay.

I could have sworn up there on top -
I thought I heard, "You're here, now stop."
But not above a stable's top -
this time below our tree I’d stop.
Not like the tree of long ago
but bright with ornaments aglow.
Not heavy timbers tied across,
where Jesus died upon the cross.

When only He could make me glad,
I wanted gifts from mom and dad.
Oh, those presents full of toys,
I ripped apart and made some noise.
“Dear God and Jesus - wait a bit.
I’ll play awhile and then I’ll quit.”
How awful, selfish, I became
as I trampled Jesus' name.

But later on, I humbly bowed,
on that floor not one bit proud.
I cried a lot. I cried out loud –
and let him cleanse my sinful cloud.
So through me see that special Star -
always near, not off afar.
-Still upon that special tree,
where Jesus died for you and me.

©2006 louis gander ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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