This is our Christmas tree.
It is not a perfect tree. It is terribly thin.
It has many bare spots. Gaps left when the spare branches are fanned out to their fullest, but still cannot fill in the spaces.
It's ornaments are hung terribly lopsided. Small fingers, unable to grasp the big picture, focus on each ornament as if it is the only one. There is no regard for overall appearance. Just for each special ornament as it is hung.
Many of the lower branches hold clusters of ornaments. The boughs sag under the weight. Because, really. If one ornament is good on this branch, several must be better.
A light bulb or two has burnt out. Unable to shine with the light of the season, they await a new bulb. They wait to be filled, again, with light.
The garland hangs, uneven. This, the result of a huge, red Tonka truck having crashed into it. Perhaps an accident. Perhaps a wreckless, impulsive moment in a toddler's day. One of the inevitable events of this tree's existence.
I look at this imperfect tree, and I love it. I don't need a big tree with matching garlands & perfectly hung ornaments. This Christmas tree serves as a daily reminder. It reminds of the season, the anticipation, the truth.
Like this tree, I am imperfect. At times, I can be quite thin on character. I, too, have bare spots in my spirit where, despite stretching, I can not fill in all the spaces. I am lopsided and unbalanced. My sins hang in clusters, weighing down my limbs. I, too, have lights that have burnt out. I am filled with the Holy Spirit, but sometimes I am unable to allow the Light of Christ to shine through me. Parts of my spirit hang to the ground, the result of the inevitable events of my existence.
I am His. He looks at this imperfect being, and He loves me. He loves me so much that He gave his only begotten Son to wash away my sins. Jesus was born to fulfill a promise. His promise. That through Him, I can be full on character; I can find balance; my sins can be lifted from my boughs; my lights can shine with His Grace; I can be renewed and repaired after the inevitable events of this life.
And it all began with a birth. A coming. The coming. Of a Savior.
I look at my sad little tree, and I love it. My imperfect Christmas tree reminds me that in this time of advent, we wait. We anticipate the coming of our Savior.