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.”