It stands on my computer desk, with one red ball and a swatch of blue felt at its base. 7 paltry twigs adorn its trunk, with barely a sprig of green.  It is hardly a wonder of creation.  It is one of the most beautiful examples of care and Christmas compassion I can think of.

Charlie Brown felt the same way when he stumbled upon this tree in the story, “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”  Everyone expected him to return with a stalwart and stately tree that spoke of strength and vigor, he returned with this pathetic representation of a tree.  “You’re pathetic Charlie Brown, you couldn’t even pick out a decent tree.  We can’t trust you to do anything right.”  Wow.  Anyone else feel gutted at that statement…THANK YOU LUCY!

We all have a Lucy, more often than not, its our own heads.  I have no clue how it gets there, sometimes its inborn.  I am not sure why anymore than I know why my boys turn everything they touch into weapons when they have not been taught to do so. I listen to my oldest talk about himself.  He does the same talk.  I don’t know why.  He has not been told he is pathetic, worthless, or stupid.  Yet, there it is.  As a parent, it kills me to hear him talk like that.  As a teacher, I heard my students voice the same sentiments….it ripped me raw.  What they saw as the pathetic tree branch, I saw growth and chance.    Alone in that snow bank stood that tiny tree and Charlie Brown saw something unique and special about it.  How cool is that?

2 things jump out at me.  Ok 3.  1 is that I stooped to the level of using the word “things”–shudder!  2 I want to be a Charlie Brown that sees something special and uncommon.  I don’t want to rescue something or someone, but to cultivate an attitude of vulnerability that helps others realize their own potential.  3 I yearn to know that others are Charlie Browns for me.  I listened far too long to my own Lucy voice, and still do.  As I seek to be encouraging for others, I know that there are too many times that I find myself feeling like the tree–alone, undesired, plain, overlooked.  The shining ornament lovingly placed on the tree lends a certain ownership to it and the Linus Blanket at the trunk gives me hope.  I will talk another time about my own Linus moments, but for today it makes me smile.

I received a rendition of the Christmas tree from that story today and it speaks something to my soul tonight.  What story grips you in this moment?  Why?  How can we apply it to the everyday chances we encounter?  That is my challenge…how do I lean into what it means and use it to be an asset?  Join me?

Shalom and Christmas tidings.



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