Recently I was blessed to be able to go to a local retailer. For the last year with COVID-19, my husband’s health crisis and all the details around them including my mobility issues, getting out to do anything is a huge treat. On this exploration I found a unique tree that stirred my imagination.
Yes, it’s a Christmas tree. Yes, all the branches are pointed downwards and fluffed outward. Yes, it’s a silver wire sparkled up half of a dress form. Yes, it has angel wings. Yes, she’s leaning to one side. Yes, that’s it’s name, Lighted Angel Tree.
I have for years made angels without faces because the Bible tells us to be careful because we often entertain angels unaware of who they are.
“Do not forget to entertain strangers; for by so doing, some people have entertained angels without knowing.”Hebrews 13:2, New International Version, 1973, 1978, The Zondervan Corporation.
My angels also always have a gift in their hands because no angel comes into our lives without some gift. But, I never make them without a head. They may be bald, yet never headless.
About an hour and a half later we went to see Coco. The story line was valuable. Remembering who you come from, your ancestors, has real value in helping you decide on your present life. Sometimes what we think we want, or who we want it from lacks all or most of the truth. Those blind spots can kill a dream. Or open up a door you never thought possible.
I was also struck by the colors. Bright, neon colors in the land for those who have passed away from this life and are still remembered where they because their business in this life is finished. If they go unremembered, eventually they fade completely. These beings live in a fantasy like world in amazingly colorful homes, clothes, spirit guides and the city itself is like a Christmas present on steroids with color, fireworks and color, so much color, patterns and textures.
Many thoughts entered my mind. One query I felt compelled to resolve was what kind of topper would you put on a silver angel tree with wings and no head?
- Frosty’s head.?
- A big red bow?
- A big silver bow?
- Santa’s head?
- Santa’s hat?
- Rudolph’s red nose?
- A face mask?
- Silver or gold star?
- Purple and gold star?
- A rainbow striped unicorn horn?
- An angel?
This is no traditional holiday tree. It made me laugh initially. Later, as I pondered the topper situation, I laughed even more. Yes, the head of a lovely woman, even in silver, with a halo would be quite acceptable. But, expected. A less traditional form of that would be a wig stand, in silver, with a golden halo.
There’s also a top hat hung recklessly on the neck. Maybe add a cane and she might pass as a Rockette from the tinsel tree era.
Sometimes we ourselves have great ideas but we leave something vital out of the execution of it. Paul wrote something that reminds me of this situation. Saul, before he became Paul, had spent incredible energy on trying to rid the world of Christians. After his own conversion to Christianity he wrote:
“For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am and his grace to me was not without effect. No I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” (Emphasis mine.)1 Corinthians 15:9-10 New International Version of the Bible, 1973, 1978, The Zondervan Corporation.
Maybe you’ll never design a headless body form as a Christmas tree leaving the rest of us to try and figure out what topper to put on it. Hopefully you’ll never try to eliminate Christians because you expect everyone to agree with you and your point-of-view. Yet we all make mistakes. We all need grace.
Mistakes sometimes mean you didn’t intend to do what you did. It was an accident. And sometimes it’s a mistake where you made a choice and you chose wrong. “But by the grace of God I am what I am and his grace to me was not without effect.”
Now you have a choice. Do you dull down your bright colors, flatten your presence out by being safe and believing you’re living in the grace of God? I challenge you though to consider how God’s grace in making you was “…NOT WITHOUT EFFECT”. You are who you are, flaws, mistakes and all.
“In his great mercy he has give us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or face—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.”I1 Peter 1:3b-5, New International Version, 1973, 1978, The Zondervan Corporation.
God needs serious thinkers, humorous people, creative people, He needs people from every part of humanity. His grace allows us to be His effective witness to a world muddy and nasty with wrong, with sin.
Might I suggest this: