2007 STORY #35: THE NOT-SO-DOPEY DRUMMER BOY
It’s not that I don’t like the “Little Drummer Boy”; but after years of Christmas concerts and animated Christmas specials I guess I had dismissed it as being a little dopey, a little too cute. But in the last few years I’ve realized that it carries a profoundly non-dopey message. I am what you see. I’m here. I have no incense and myrrh. But I have a drum and I’ll play my best. The drummer boy gift.
Sally is an old friend from an old job. I see her maybe twice a year. During one of those visits I told her about the abuse and about the priest. A week later a note arrived in the mail – her third draft she later told me - again expressing her anger and pain, and confusion about how to respond to me “I don’t know what to say, and I don’t know what to do, but I know how to knit.” And every time I touch that beautiful purple sweater my heart fills. This is what I have and I offer it to you. The drummer boy gift.
“I have no gift to bring, pa rum pum pum pum”
Leslie is an old friend from university. She eventually followed her passion and now designs and creates jewelry. One night on the phone I expressed my anger about the symbol of the cross having being ripped away from me. A few days later a fax arrives with several designs of crosses.... And a few weeks later my chosen silver cross subtly changed to take on the appearance of a dagger. And on the arm, a tiny gold teardrop. “You may enjoy this Martha” she wrote, “I found a gold heart on my workbench and pounded it into the teardrop.” This is what I have and I offer it to you. The drummer boy gift.
“I played my best for Him pa rum pum pum pum”
I looked to my family for support and instead found denial and silence. But from those I least expected came the greatest gifts – the gifts of self. When there were no words, no answers, they gave what they had. They offered me a part of themselves where words and action might fail.
“Mary nodded, pa rum pum pum pum
The ox and lamb kept time pa rum pum p um pum
So simple. So true.
This season can be crazy. And my life can be crazy. But I look back over the last few years and I see how much I’ve been given. And at this time of year I think what better gift to lay before Our King than a healing body and soul. What better way to honor Him than this woman becoming the woman she was created to be. The drummer boy gift.
“So to honor Him, pa rum pum pum pum”