Speak Eagle

Christmas Verbs

It’s a December Saturday.  One of the precious few in the busiest month of the year.  I’m drowning in unaccomplished Christmas verbs- plan, cook, clean, trim, decorate, hang, shop, wrap, package, create, write, mail, wash, call.  Come to think of it, they’re Martha verbs- you know, the woman in the Bible who was worried and bothered about so many things?

The phone rings.  Could the boys and I help with Stone Soup’s Christmas day camp today?  Sigh.  Part of me wants to give, to serve, and part of me wants to stay submerged in my verbs and attempt to accomplish a few.

The task part of me starts to say, “I would love to, but…” and from out of nowhere the altruistic part of me hangs a left hook and knocks out the task part of me with “…I could only stay till noon.”

And suddenly I’m in the minivan, headed for Judson Baptist Church.

My boys run around high-fiving like they own the place.  They’ve been here many Friday nights to help with Parent’s Night Out.  I’ve been too busy with my verbs to come before.

The director assigns me to 17-year old Ali.  I push her wheelchair to the gym.

“Friends of all abilities,” as Stone Soup calls them, play basketball together.  A tall 26-year old squeals with delight to toss Ali the ball.  I catch it in front of her and throw it towards the basket.  I miss, of course.  She doesn’t mind.  Her limbs, darting and enthusiastic, cheer me on to try again.

We make a circle in the gym to dance.  A woman who has Down Syndrome leads the hand motions to the Y-M-C-A and swivels her hips like a pro.

I turn Ali’s chair right and left with the beat.   In music, we wrap bells around her wrists and sing carols.  At craft time, we paint her birthday cake for Jesus.

At lunch, I’m all thumbs feeding rice and cucumber and lemonade.  I have a feeling that inside, Ali is giggling.  I’m giggling, too.

Someone rushes in.  “The drama is about to begin!”

Drama?  I didn’t know there was going to be a drama.

The thought of a noon exit is now unthinkable.  I hurriedly wipe off rice and cucumber and lemonade and race Ali into the costume room.  What character should she be?  I spy a golden garland.  An angel.  Perfect.  We tie a golden collar around her neck, place the garland on her head and wheel her to the backstage door.

A friend snaps our picture.  Ali is shy, turned away from the camera.  She has no idea just how angelic she looks.  

Stone Soup - my angel


Ushered in by the fanfare of a visiting horn section, we enter to join the nativity.

And time stops.

Joseph and shepherds with cloaks and staffs, wise men offering gifts.  The woman with Downs now holds baby Jesus.  Reverent.  Beautiful.

I look at her face.  Not concerned with any of my December verbs.  Completely focused on baby Jesus.

Stone Soup Mary 2012 cropped


And then I look at the face of Ali, the angel.  No longer shy, no longer turned away.  Radiant.  Enraptured.  Worship.

Stone Soup Nativity Angel



The one Christmas verb I had been missing all along.  And, like Martha  discovered, the only one that is truly needful.


2 thoughts on “Christmas Verbs”

  1. I want to be like Ali in that last picture. Slow me down, Lord. These precious sisters get it!!! Thank you Heidi, for this reminder that it’s all about worship and keeping my focus on the Baby in the scene. Even through all the “verb” ing 🙂 I needed this.

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