What is it about the classic Christmas song ‘Little Drummer Boy’ that undoes me every year?
Could it be that I relate to this fictional child on a deep level I don’t fully understand?
Like him, I want to offer something of worth to Jesus. Like him, I long for the Christ-smile upon my life, and yet I feel my own inadequacies and the inferiority of what I have to offer. Feelings curse me with whispers of ‘not enough’ and they try hard to convince me that in comparison to others, what I have to give Jesus beats to the tune of ‘not enough’.
Yet, I am still invited to come…
Come they told me… pa rum pum pum pum.
A new born king to see… pa rum pum pum pum.
Our finest gifts we bring… pa rum pum pum pum.
To lay before the king… pa rum pum pum pum…
So to honour him… pa rum pum pum pum… when we come.
Little baby… pa rum pum pum pum.
I am a poor boy too… pa rum pum pum pum.
I have no gift to bring… pa rum pum pum pum.
That’s fit to give our king… pa rum pum pum pum…
Shall I play for you… pa rum pum pum pum.
Mary nodded… pa rum pum pum pum.
The ox and lamb kept time… pa rum pum pum pum.
I played my drum for Him… pa rum pum pum pum.
I played my best for Him…pa rum pum pum pum…
Then He smiled at me… pa rum pum pum pum
Me and my drum.
(Little Drummer Boy, Katherine Kennicott Davis, 1941)
Something wonderful happens when our children echo back to us the rich truths we have planted in the fertile soil of their hearts. Youthful, green shoots often spring to life in perfect season to bless older, weary lives in need of courage.
Recently I noticed the contentment my youngest daughter models in her daily life. As we talked about it, I noted how she doesn’t compare herself to others and how she knows the smile of Christ upon her life.
Jesus’ smile upon her is enough – and her smile back is enough for Him!
Like me, Nicole is still a work in progress, but she is living within the contentment of ‘enough’, even as I am seeking to re-learn the vital lessons I have taught her in what is a new season of life for me.
As I travel through this transition, I’ve become aware that comparison and discontent are crouching at the breeches of my heart. To counteract this, I am intentionally looking for evidence of true contentment within the witness of lives surrounding me. I do this not to compare and breed more discontent, but to learn from and enact as I grow in freedom…
Mary, Mother of Jesus – content in His smile as she lived within cultural shame.
Mary of Bethany – content in His smile as she lived within foolish extravagance.
The Poor Widow – content in His smile as she lived within misunderstanding.
The Apostle Paul – content in His smile as he lived within unjust prison walls.
My beloved husband – content in His smile as he lives within sacrificial loving.
My precious mother – content in His smile as she lives within painful conditions.
My grieving friend – content in His smile as she lives within lonely confusion.
Our Rachael – content in His smile as she lives within wholehearted worship.
James and Melissa – content in His smile as they live within obedient service.
Bethany Joy – content in His smile as she lived within crippling cancer.
Bethany Joy – content in His smile as she lives within the light of His presence.
This Christmas, we can come to Jesus just as we are and allow Him to transform us into all He desires us to become. Whatever ‘drum’ you hold in your hands can be played as a unique offering to bless Him, and as you begin to play, may you notice the pleasure of His smile upon you and feel His heart beating in time with yours…. pa rum pum pum pum…
Have a blessed Christmas and BE Content in His Smile! Lyn 🙂
God bless you and keep you,
God smile on you and gift you,
God look you full in the face
And make you prosper.
(Numbers 6:24-26 MSG)
PS: Please enjoy a couple of my favourite Little Drummer Boy covers: