After a warm welcome to the 3rd/4th grade class, I commenced with the standard speel, "This is the potty sign (I demonstrate the gesture), if she signs it she needs to go to the restroom as soon as possible. Please feel free to get me and I will do her toileting, we don't expect you to do that. She can hear with her hearing aids but because of the Autism she cannot speak so she'll do a lot of signs you won't understand, just tell her you'll ask mom about it when she come back. If you have any questions or problems let me know and I'll be happy to come help."
Eyeing a seat in the back of the sanctuary, on the off chance Dani might need help, we settled in to listen to the visiting missionary family. My patch of the pew was good and warm about the time a young woman appeared in my peripheral vision. Crouching forward she whispered, Dani needs you.
I could see the tears in Dani's eyes before I entered the class room, she looked overwhelmed. Drawing up a chair, I sat next to her and began to neutralize her sadness by remarking on the spread set before her, "Oh my. Monkey bread, two Twix mini candy bars, and cup of lemonade. Girl you've got it made in the shade!" My guess was she felt like a fish out of water and just needed mama for a time.
The class was having so much fun I found myself glad I'd been called to join. 20 Questions was underway. Give a clue about something to do with Christmas and the class had 20 chances to unearth the answer. A clue would be tossed out and the questions would fly. Whoever guessed right would go to the front, give a clue, and filter each question with a yes, no, or I don't know response. No one knew if the mystery at hand was animal, vegetable, or mineral, we had to ask questions.
Throughout the game I notice the most precious thing that still touches may heart today. Without fail, one girl would fire the first question before anyone else. She'd pop off her seat with the fingertips of one hand reaching for the ceiling and ask, "Is it about the real Christmas or the other?"
The question revealed so much about the heart of this little girl because the answer determined where she'd set her mind. A "no" question meant she'd guess things like Frosty the Snowman, Santa Clause, elves, Rudolph, and black coal. If the answer was "yes", however, it meant she'd begin rifling through the facts she'd learned at church about the story of Christ. This sweet girl had been taught so well, there was no room in her heart for a grey zone. When it came to Christmas, there was fact and fiction, simple as that.
While the young child's wisdom left me amazed, a burdened for society to possess more of this fine quality began to surface. What if in the relentless rush of Christmas we each asked ourselves, "Does what I'm doing, worrying about, or striving to accomplish, have anything to do with the real Christmas? Does it focus on Christ or the world? Am I anxious or at peace? Has the thought of the saving Messiah even crossed my mind lately?"
Children teach us so much, especially those blessed by the gospel. While the holidays so often bog us down by mixing truth with fiction, children lay it on the line by seeking the real deal.
Are you preparing for the real Christmas? Have you thanked Jesus for what He's done for the world and what's He's doing in your life and family? He is at work you know. He's always at work, never stagnate. Let's remember to keep Christ in our Christmas and strive to reflect Him to those around us so that they too may see the true meaning of the season.
Have a very Merry Christmas!