Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Simple Story is Not Just the Sweet Parts

Anna struggles daily with attachment.  She gravitates to anyone who will give her attention, though she knows she is loved unconditionally.  She  knows enough, remembers too much, but still is confident that God loves her all the time.  Today her struggles reached a level of annoyance to pretty much everyone.  
Holidays raise anxiety levels for most, and for a child whose life has been turned every which way, the anxiety rises that much more.  Her giggles were more like squeels.  Her hugs became smothering.  The typical ego-centric six year-old amped it up.
After a significant time out (for both her and me), she brought me her Bible story book.  We stole off away from the crowd to a cozy office chair to read.
Her choice - the Christmas story.  Makes sense, right?  We read how the angels shared the message of the coming promised Savior to both Mary and Joseph.  We read about the ride to Bethlehem and the birth of Christ in a humble estate.  We read about the wise men's search and Herod's deadly mission.  We read about the perfect escape.  
Then we turned to the end of another story - the crucifixion.  I have to be honest, this is not the pretty story to read two days before Christmas.  Though it was a Children's Bible, the truth was there.  Christ was beaten, mocked, hurt, stripped, and ultimately killed.  Authorities tried to free him, but his own people demanded death.  I felt my stomach turn a bit.  My heart skipped a little.  
The sweet story of Christmas has a sad ending.  If you believe that really was the ending.  Yes, God chose to make his arrival in human form alongside of a small group of people.  He didn't demand oppulence.  He lived with the intent to finish his story 33 years later on the cross, the most painful form of death known to man.  He died knowing that he would conquer death and rise again within three days.
The simplicity of salvation began in manger and ended on a cross. His story provided the best gift one could ever receive.  

Anna knows that gift, and I praise God for that.  I am thankful that no matter how she feels, He will not let her go.  Today was a blessing in the middle of craziness to sit and read the best story of all.  

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