|The least of these--the greatest of these---all are Invited|
Taylor was never invited to birthday parties when he was little. He didn't have a core group as it were. Invitations were just not forthcoming. So, whereas my other son, Cole, went to a birthday party a week, I really have to rack my brain to remember any birthday parties to which Taylor was invited. And, I cried a lot. I felt left out---rejected. Early on, I bought into the belief that he/we were not wanted....would not be included in real things. (Have you ever noticed that when you believe something that you create situations in your life to support that belief? Pay attention. That's a whole different blog. Hold that thought.)
I guess then I was stunned, suprised, delighted when Taylor received a for-real, actual birthday invitation (you know, like from Halmark) in the mail. Gisela was inviting Taylor to her daughter, Cindy's, 7th birthday. The invitation had his name on it. It was the first birthday invitation he had ever received. I cried. (Not in the closet---but at the kitchen sink.) Hooray!! Somebody loves him/me/us! Taylor, of course, has never doubted that he is loved; he does not have my issues--thank goodness. On my way to the party, I got a speeding ticket. I tried to explain to the officer that it was our first birthday party invitation----ever. I paid $87.00 and sped off. I remember everything about walking into that house on that Friday afternoon. Gisela met us at the door---like real guests---like we were treasured. There was a hat and gift bag with Taylor's name on it. This sounds so darn sappy, but it makes me tear-up to even type this. It was one of those days/events/situations that opened up my heart and shifted it off center to a better place.
My daddy's birthday was (is?) Christmas Eve. He is in Heaven probably trying to integrate it or get the angels to recycle their aluminum foil and picking up Coke bottles to turn in for cash. And, then, of course, there's THE other birth day this week. Holy Week. So, in my life, this is a week that somehow is both fragile and majestic and humble and lowly and promising and full of tender aches. Enter the violins---can you hear the angels singing to you?
In so many ways, I have been a great mother to Taylor. But, if I could have a Do-Over, I think I would have saddled up my camel, my donkey, my Pilot---and busted in on lots more birthday parties. When earlier folk saw that star in the east, they just went. They didn't ask, "Oh, have we been invited? Are we wanted? Are we on the list?" Heck no! They saw the light. They followed it. They went---ragged clothes, cold, speeding tickets and all.
Here's what I know or want to know: The Christmas Birthday party is a time for me, for you--for us----to look around and see who's not been invited in sharing what we have. Who needs an invitation? Who feels disenfranchised and aches to be included? Ask them in. Greet them at the door. Give them a hat with their name on it.
There's room at this birth-day party for all of us.
Happy Birthday, Jesus, Jack, Taylor, Cindy, Gisela, Dorna, and on and on and on and on---all ye guarding your flock (s) by day and night--your flocks near or far.
Gather round. Your invitation is here.