The Greatest Gift
Reading Selection for December 17th
“Lifting Up the Little and Small”
Micah 5:2 (NLT) – “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village among all the people of Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel will come from you, one whose origins are from the distant past.”
Messiah specializes in showing up in the little and the small – in a small, infant frame; through the smallness of a womb; in a little town; in a tiny manger. And today He still seems to enjoy arriving in the lives of the little and the small.
Several years ago our oldest daughter, Liv Loo, the precious girl with the “make-stuff” bag , developed a bone disease that caused the entire head of her right femur to die. As the bone died it crumbled in the joint and the cartilage collapsed around it. She had multiple surgeries that left her with a terrible limp the summer before she entered into middle school. She has since had surgery that corrected the limp, but those years were long, slow, and hard.
Every day as she got out of the car and I watched her limp into school my heart broke for her. Being different in middle school can be devastating. I remember well. There are still memories from those years that make my throat tight, my chest heavy and my eyes water. A friend recently said to me, “Once we leave middle school, I think we spend the rest of our lives trying to recover from middle school.”
I knew things were hard for Liv Loo, but she never said a word. Years later she shared about the loneliness and the whispers and the rejection. But every day she got out of that car and bravely entered the fray. Our Make Stuff Girl is made of strong stuff.
One day towards the end of the school year I got a call from her guidance counselor. She shared with me through tears how another little girl in Liv’s class had back surgery a few weeks before. Once the girl returned to school she needed help every day getting from class to class because she still couldn’t carry her own backpack. Our Liv Loo, our little Make Stuff Girl, volunteered to help her friend every day get from class to class. Their guidance counselor said she cried every time she saw them because watching little Liv, who struggled daily with her own burdens, take care of her friend was so precious and beautiful.
The small and the weak taking care of the small and the weak. In the middle of those middle years, in the middle of crippling disease and a world made small by difference, Messiah came for the hearts of two broken, hurting girls.
In our smallness His coming is made more beautiful.