Then He Smiled At Me

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Take a moment to picture little me, six years old, and stamping my foot in the living room because I wanted to watch The Little Drummer Boy Claymation movie. I was adamant that it was the best one because, “Jesus is in it.” I kept saying that over and over again to my siblings. Honestly, I don’t remember what the result of that altercation came to, but I do know this, the Little Drummer Boy song is still one I treasure.

It’s a simple song isn’t it? A short phrase and then “pa rum pump um pum”, another phrase and again, “pa rum pump um pum.”

But it is the heart of the song that catches my attention every time. The voice of the little boy feeling so lost and so ungifted, reminds me of how truly precious it is to glorify the Lord . The little boy wonders what he could possibly give to the King who was born to save him. What could he possibly do to please Christ?

And so, because all he has is a drum to play, he plays it for the Lord. And what happens? The Baby smiles.

I know this is a fictional story, but do you see the heart of it?

Here we are as a society, so busy running around and stressed, wanting to make everything so perfect that we tend to forget how truly simple everything can be. We get caught up in wanting to give the best gifts, or we are so worried about how our decorations are going to appear on social media that we forget about Christ, or we end up wishing our families were like “so-and-so’s” because they seem to get along better than our family. And on the list goes.

But what if this Christmas we remembered that there are different types of gifts we could give? In the places where we feel completely inadequate and simple, we are actually complex and blessed.

The other day I was reading in 1 Corinthians 12 and came across this passage of Scripture that reminded me of how we are to be.

For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. – 1 Cor. 12: 14-20

Each of us is gifted with different spiritual gifts and we each have a purpose arranged by God to glorify Him. We are to be His vessel, to focus on Him and overflow with His hope, light and love.

If you are one who worships God with loud praises, singing and dancing, do it unto the Lord! If you are one who is gifted with teaching the Word, do it unto the Lord! If you are a great listener and encourager, do it unto the Lord! If you are a great hostess and nurturer, do it unto the Lord! If you are a giver, do it unto the Lord! If you have the gift of mercy, do it, unto the Lord! And on the list goes.

These are a few of the gifts of the Spirit and they are anything but simple. The world may tell you otherwise, but since when are we to listen to the world over the Word?

Now, let’s go back to the Little Drummer Boy. I want you to read these words and recognize yourself in each phrase—the perfect simplicity of feeling unworthy (I took out the drum beats so you can really focus).

Come they told me

A new born king to see

Our finest gifts we bring

To lay before the king

So to honor him
When we come

Little baby
I am a poor boy too

I have no gift to bring
That’s fit to give our king

Shall I play for you

Mary nodded
The ox and lamb kept time

I played my drum for him
I played my best for him

Then he smiled at me
Me and my drum

(Songwriters: Harry Simeone/Henry V Ontorati/ Katherine Kennicot Davis/ Lorenzo Definti)

Do you see the beauty of this song? The little boy seeing how low Christ has stepped from glory to be with us? Do you see how he longs to give the Lord his best? And most importantly, what does he do? He plays his drum with all he has to the best of his ability.

And Christ? He smiles at the boy. He smiles at you.

This Christmas season I challenge you to focus on the Lord and glorify Him with the gifts He has given you. Because if you’re going to beat a drum, beat it for the Lord. And if your heart is going to beat, let it beat in praise for the Lord.

This Christmas, enjoy the simple, wonderful, beautiful things, that are of the Spirit, His joy overflowing and His smile lifting us to peace.

The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. – Numbers 6: 24-26

And just as a bonus to get you in the Christmas spirit, here is my favorite version of the Little Drummer Boy by for KING & COUNTRY. 

Merry Christmas!