“Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.” Psalm 31:24
The Holy Spirit spoke to me while putting away Christmas decorations last year. “Leave this one out,” it urged, “Place it some place where you will see it. Leave it some where so you won’t forget.” This Divine nudge prompted me to leave the Dollar Store Jesus on the shelf in the dining room.
At first, it felt odd. Really odd. Not a lick of glittery, sparkly Christmas décor around and there sat the clumsily painted baby Jesus. A gift to my son from several years back. A tradition really as I always try to purchase a little something for the kiddos to remind them of the true Reason for the season. Mostly I buy ornaments, but when the children were very young I wanted them to have a “hands on” experience with Jesus. The Dollar Store is perfect for gifts like this…it was a cost-effective way to teach the children to be careful with breakables while allowing them to touch, feel, and hold an item so precious. If it broke, no problem. We would carefully glue it back together or (as is prone to happen with little boys) we would sweep up the pieces. I wanted them to know that Jesus was always within reach and as a result various Dollar Store Jesus figurines would live among other toys, on their bedroom night stands or carried in a backpack to preschool show-and-tell. All December long. The collection grew larger each year with a few duplicates after Casey was born (whatever Sean had, Casey had to have, too) and then back in the box they would go. Until now….
Over the past year, this Dollar Store Jesus has lived among various other holiday decorations, next to the kiddos’ photographs, by the clock, near the plants, and on the piano. I laugh to myself every time I place Him in a new “home.” Will anyone notice? (They did.) Will anyone care? (This is yet to be determined.) Regardless, I know He’s there…reminding me. EVERY DAY JESUS.
Peace on earth will come to stay, when we live Christmas every day. -Helen Steiner Rice