Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas in Old Shoes

OK, I wrote this a while ago, & posted it on another blog. I stepped away from writing for a while, so I hope if you've already seen this you'll forgive me. I vow to do my best to write something else for Christmas by next year!

Christmas glitter gilds the town
Far as the eye can see.
Lights aglow from house to house,
Garland on ev’ry tree

Shoppers shop, almost nonstop.
The merchants clap with glee.
Children beg, eyes open wide,
"Oh, please, for me, for me!"

Among them, two young siblings--
Their parents' sad decree:
"Christmas cannot come to us
This year, unless it's free."

"Christmas free? How can it be?!"   
(And shopping ads agree.)
"Oh how indeed!" they wonder,
Those siblings, weepingly.
Just then a man on hard times
Come ambling down the street,
Stops at home of boy and girl
Where Christmas shall not be.

Their parents stare in wonder:
"He's far worse off than we.
His face describes a struggle,
And yet a smile we see."

"I have a gift," he tells them.
The children shout with glee.
While Mom and Dad both whisper,
"What kind of fool is he?"

He speaks to them with honor
Of God's great majesty,
Which he has learned to notice
Since Christmas came for free.

"I've spent my share and then some,
And much has come to me
In packages and parcels
That go beneath the tree.

"Behold my few possessions;
Yet foolish would I be
To trade them for those presents
I loved so jealously.

"For in my heart is Jesus;
Look in my eyes and see
A joy that He has offered
By dying on a tree.

For Jesus says, 'Where's Christmas
Amid this revelry?
Why do you have the season
And yet think not of Me?'"

"Kind sir, would you please tell us
How you expect that we
Could dare to ask for Jesus, 
Yet offer poverty?

"Our rent's past due three months now;
Our bills—just look and see.
Our begging for a handout,
That’s soon what is to be.”

The man says, "My dear people,
Please take a look at me,
For what I have to give Him
Is only what you see.

"I too was shamed to face Him-
'What wretchedness you be,'
I've heard the folks of this town
Spew out so heartlessly.

And yet I'm God's dear child;
While they, though rich may be,
Do worship worthless riches;
That's all the heav'n they see.

"You need to, therefore, offer
Yourselves on bended knee, 
And hearts that are repentant
Toward Him who purchased thee."

"This gift, it is so precious.
What kind of Savior, He,
Who offers richest pardon
By dying on a tree?

"Is that all He requires,
No costly gift or fee,
No presents He can open
From underneath a tree?"

"Please turn from holding onto
That which you now believe: 
That gifts He holds most precious 
Are underneath a tree.

"For we do quite insult Him
When giving as though we
Can gain from Him a present 
Which He has granted free."

They hug the man and ask him
To join them 'round the tree;
And in the midst of little,
They worship joyfully.

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