Ever since “Merry Christmas Charlie Brown” aired in 1965 I have been a fan of this beloved holiday
special. Immediately bonding with an endearing kindred spirit towards Charlie Brown with all his self doubt and insecurities, firmly believing Charles Schulz portrait of Charlie Brown was sketched out not only about himself, but a myriad of others like me that have walked a similar journey of shame.
However, an even deeper resounding chord beyond my familiarity with Chucks’ self doubt and low self esteem was how he embraced a sorrowful looking Christmas tree in its poor state. Wondering how Charlie Brown saw beauty, potential, and a victorious story waiting to be told through its seemingly defective branches. Chuck was ever so willing to take a chance on the last “real” tree in the lot. Losing more precious pine needles on it’s already sparse limbs along its way home. Dreaming of what it would look like and not of its’ present condition. Perhaps Chuck could identify with the downcast drooping tree and his own slumped spirit he found himself contending with at times.
For I know when I look at that tree it reminds me of my former wounded and broken self. Painfully bowed down with shame and guilt to see any real value in myself. Feeling bare and stripped of a rich, full life. Not having the eyes, nor strength to see any further then my current inner struggles. Thankfully we have a God that cares tenderly for our broken hearts, the downcast finding a home under the shelter of His wings. His love bringing us back to wholeness, while gently sending us loving people to minster healing to our deep hurts and broken places. Just as Linus secured the wobbly tree base with his prized blanket, so too friends rally to reinforce our shaky souls with their blanket of love and sacrifice. Decorating our wounded spirit with words of affirmation, encouragement and the light of hope. Their compassionate touch transforms us into a thing of beauty that we were meant to be all along. Just as I marveled at Charlie Browns’ boost of confidence that he mustered up for his tree, I too marvel at Gods’ rock solid confidence He has towards me. Not to mention all the friends He has sent my way that exhibited that same kingdom grace and throne room love.
Perhaps your spirits are drooping today and joy is falling off you like dead pine needles with no hope of new life. God promises to bring you tidings of comfort and great joy. He is a God of all Comforts and He will never fail you nor forsake you. His grace transforming your spirit and situation with new life and hope, and just like Linus reminded Charlie Brown….”because really that’s what Christmas is all about”.
Luke 2:8-14 “And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”