Sunday, January 26, 2014

Christmas in July

Given to my niece, Emily Watts, with a Fisher Price Little People Nativity Set in honor of her first birthday

Emily Anna Watts
You’re the only niece I’ve got
And I do love you a lot
Though you’re still a wee little lady.
And there is so much
I want you to know
About God, the One who made thee

But you haven’t even learned to write or bike
Or manage companies
What language could I possibly speak
Held here between glory and
Diaper leaks?
It seems too much
To put in a birthday card
Too much to grasp
Even if one thinks hard

But who am I to say
You are too young, anyway?
Wasn’t the Kingdom granted to such small ones?
So, why not send you
Some solid symbol
To whet your tender soul a thimble
Tell you of a God so humble
Who causes kings and rules to stumble
But wouldn’t break the faintest reed
So gentle his yoke
So sure his feet?
That honor needn’t wait
Until December, need it?
Which is why I came to
Giving Jesus in July

It’s not as odd as you might think--
See the red and green bow I swapped for pink--
His birth being ever near
The hearts of those
Who would adore him
No matter the age or time of year

He was once was smaller than you are now
Warmed by breath of sheep and cows
In a place that smelled of dung
Where no mobile but a night star hung
Laid there at the perfect season
For a very special reason
That you might know the greatest love
Any child can partake of
A free gift, just like this present
Only better, being heaven-sent
Not from Wal-Mart’s Site-to-Store,
Plastic and inanimate
But living, breathing, Spirit-lent--
If only you could believe it!
(And so you may, one day)

Alas, sweet lass
I fear my waxing eloquent is lost
On one so young and wonder-tossed
Far better you just tear the paper
And hold the baby in the manger
Plastic hay and donkey brays
Will suffice for now (and sound less strange-r)

You can pretend to be Mary
Or a palm tree
Or a king
And Dad can be a shepherd
And Mom can angel-sing
And you can cradle Jesus there
Upon your dimpled knee
Imagining his love so big and form so small with me

Merry Birthday, Emily
May you, from now with endless glee,
Delight in the Lord Jesus Christ
and your Nativity.
With love and hope and deepest faith,
Your God-struck Aunt Jenny

P.S. How nice it is to have a niece
One red-haired, even better!
If I could, I’d wrap the whole world up for you
But maybe that will have to wait ‘til birthday number two