It’s been a long year; a lot has happened. There’s been uni, work, new friends, moving out, and only recently (after a whole year!), a sincerely bad case of homesickness. Christmas is only a few days away and while I buckle down to try and complete nearly 25 hours of work in only a short space of time, my heart is set on Christmas Eve. I know that when I leave Brisbane at 6pm Monday night I’ll be at Nan’s just in time to see my cousins place out their letter to Santa, along with some carrots, cookies, and a beer. There will be excitement, frenzy, and arguments over the best place to put their Santa sacks, but after this, all nine of us cousins will sit down together and hear Nan’s Christmas story. This is my favourite part of Christmas. Nothing will ever beat it.
I want to share this story with you and so does my Nan.
Many, many years ago in Heaven there was a little tiny angel. He was a very sad little angel, he missed his mummy and daddy and his little dog Rusty. All the other angels tried to help him, but he would just sit on his little cloud and cry. One day the Head Angel called him up to her and said "Little Angel, what can we do to make you happy?" The little angel thought for a while and then said "If I could have the little tin box that is under my bed at home, that would make me happy".
The Head Angel immediately sent an angel down to Earth to find the box and from that day on the Little Angel was happy. One day as he was playing with his box, he noticed all the angels running around excitedly, talking and laughing. He asked one angel what was going on and she said "Little angel, haven't you heard, God's Son is about to be born on Earth and we are making beautiful gifts to give to God for the birth of His Son.
The Little angel thought to himself, what can I give God as a gift? He sat on his little cloud and thought, and thought and thought. Suddenly he sat up "I've got it, I will give Him my little tin box!" with that he put his little box under his arm and marched up to the Great Hall, up the stairs and inside, he marched to the front where all the other angels had put their gifts and placed his right in the middle, then he marched back and turned around, Oh! No! what had he done?
He looked at all the glorious, glowing, sparkling gifts, and there in the middle was his little old dented rusty tin box. Oh why had he thought it was good enough to give to God for his Son, what would God say? The little angel began to cry, he rolled himself into a little ball and sobbed and sobbed, he wished a little hole would open and he could fall through, he tried to make himself so small that nobody would see him.
Just then God entered and sat on his throne and looked at all the gifts. He raised his hand at one end and slowly moved it over all the beautiful gifts. Maybe He won't see it, thought the little angel, God's hand moved over the box and on - and then stopped and moved back. The little angel was shaking all over, he didn't want to look but he couldn't help it, he peeped out of one eye. He could see God's hand reach down and open up the lid of the box and then take out a brilliantly coloured butterfly that the little angel had caught running and laughing through the meadow on lovely spring day. Next He took out a pretty smooth pebble that the little angel had found at the bottom of the stream he used to swim in, oh what fun he had that day. Then there was a rusty old hook, but that was the hook, the little angel had caught his first fish on and last of all was a dirty, chewed up old leather dog collar, the first collar his dog Rusty had worn when he was a cute little puppy and he had kept it to remember the fun they had.
God returned all the things to the box and closed the lid and his voice rang out throughout the Great Hall, "Of all the beautiful gifts that have been given me today to honour the birth my Son, I find this little tin box to be the most precious of all. Because in this box are all the things belonging to the Earth, that my Son, born to be King, will love and play with. As He spoke the little box began to glow and started rising up in the air, becoming brighter and brighter and going higher and higher until it became the Shining Star of Bethlehem.
Sharni-Lee has a real heart for social justice and this bursts through in everything she does as a regional assistant for Marist Youth Ministry. After a number of years volunteering with St Vincent de Paul while at high school in Lismore, she moved up to Brisbane this year to take up studies in education at ACU. Sharni-Lee is continually journeying towards defining her own truth in faith which has only been emphasised through experiences of service, relationships and reflection.