Eyes wide, I tiptoed toward the Christmas tree. Slowly I moved closer. That’s when I saw it – the most beautiful doll cradle I had ever seen. I could hardly believe it was mine. Santa must have left it at the wrong house!
Reaching out my hand, I touched the cradle and gave it a gentle push. It rocked slowly, causing the white-as-snow fabric that skirted it, to sway slightly. I peeked inside and saw a miniature pillow, covered in matching white eyelet fabric. My eyes sparkled at the thought of my sweet baby doll’s head sleeping on this pillow.
Lifting the fabric skirt, I took a look underneath at the cradle. The smell of fresh paint wafted up. Ah, fresh paint! The white cradle and rockers had to be brand new, with that smell. I hardly noticed the patched holes in the wicker. This baby doll cradle was so much newer and nicer than the one my Mama had picked up off a trash pile a few weeks ago!
Years later, Mama told me the story of that cradle. One of our neighbors had evidently cleaned out all their closets. There was a large trash pile in front of their house. Driving past, something caught Mama’s eye. She pulled to the side of the road, and I watched as she plucked something from the top of the mound. It was an old battered doll cradle. The once-white wicker had turned a weathered gray, with many holes in the sides. The rocking cradles were broken. What I saw was just a piece of junk on the top of the heap. But Mama saw the beauty in it.
In the evenings, after my brother and I had gone to bed, Mama and Daddy became Santa’s elves. Daddy cut and sanded two new rockers and put a fresh coat of paint, while Mama patched the wicker and sewed the eyelet skirt and pillow. They worked and worked until the doll cradle looked brand new.
It was the most beautiful gift – so full of love. And isn’t that what Christmas is all about?
Doesn’t Jesus do the same for us? He picks us up off the trash pile of life. He pours His love over us, like a fresh coat of paint. He puts a new heart and a new spirit in us. He patches the holes of our hurts, and gives us renewed strength for this rocky life. He cradles us. Jesus doesn’t see us as the broken and torn people that we are – He sees the beauty of who we can be in Him. And He works and works on us until we are brand new.
What a beautiful gift of love.
And isn’t that what Christmas is all about?
Matthew 1:21 “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
Linking up with The Weekend Brew and Testimony Tuesday
James Buie says
This is one of your very best and the photo by John is most interesting. I had a mental picture of your dear mother working on that doll cradle…that was just like her!
Trust that your Christmas will be filled with Joy.
Ah, thank you so much Bro. Buie! That doll cradle is forever seared in my memory! I hope I captured the magic that I felt that Christmas morning!
Beth Rayann Corder says
Sweet Memory Ellen!
Some of the most treasured gifts are those that come from gentle repurposing. In a world driven by a disposable mentality, I’m so glad God is in to giving us second chances!
Thanks for sharing this memorable truth.
Hey Sweet Beth! So good to see you here! Miss you, Compel friend!
Beth Rayann Corder says
Thank you Ellen. Miss you too.
Carmen Horne says
Hey Beth! It was great seeing that pink flower. Merry Christmas!
So sweet, Ellen! What a heart story of love and purpose!
Thank you Kristine!
This is so beautiful. I am so thankful that Jesus sees the beauty in my mess and picks me up out of the trash pile. Merry Christmas!
This is so beautiful. I am so thankful that God sees beauty in my mess and picks me up out of the trash pile of life. Merry Christmas!
Amen, Barbie! Thanks for stopping by, and thank you for all your encouragement on The Weekend Brew!
Cathy Hooper says
Beautiful story and wonderful analogy. I could just picture the wonder of the child and the loving work of the parents.
It was beautiful, Cathy! I’, so glad you could “see” it! Thanks for stopping by!
Such a precious memory and example of God’s love for us. Thank you for sharing it! Glad to be your ” neighbor” this week at The Weekend Brew!
Thank you Kym, and thanks so much for stopping by!
Mary Dolan Flaherty says
Beautiful analogy, Ellen! I love stories like that.
Thank you Mary!
Carmen Horne says
You write is heartwarming. I could close my eyes and feel the excitement of a “new” baby cradle. I am so glad God has re-purposed me! Love you girl. Merry Christmas!
Love you, too Friend! Merry Christmas!
Beautiful story of love and redemption, Ellen! So glad God never goves up in me, no matter how MESSY I look! XO
Amen, Liz! So glad He picks us up off the trash pile and cleans us up! Love you!