Why I Love the “Little Drummer Boy”
I know there are people who aren’t fans of the Christmas carol, “Little Drummer Boy.” I get it. The “pa rum pum pum pum” makes up the majority of the lyrics, and that can get a little old. But, still, this song makes me cry every time.
In the “Little Drummer Boy,” everyone is going to see the newborn Savior and bringing their finest gifts. The little drummer boy’s finest gift is a drum solo. Isn’t that the last thing a newborn (or a newborn’s parents) would want!?
Decidedly, not a great gift.
But, I think of me and the gifts I offer my Savior every day as I live my life. The gifts I lay before my Savior as I try daily to practice love, charity, and kindness often feel like the equivalent of a drum solo for a newborn.
Undeterred, the little drummer boy plays his best for his infant king. And, I’m always touched at the last line, “Then, he smiled at me…me and my drum.”
Since the policy against the children of gay parents came out last month, I have thought a lot about the gifts I want to give Jesus, my church, my family, and those who suffer because of this new policy. Early on, I asked ask myself, “Can I stay in a church that would deny children saving ordinances?”
As I’ve listened to the “Little Drummer Boy” this holiday season, I realize my question needs to be something else.
“Will my best gifts to my Savior come forth by staying or leaving?”
I don’t know the answer, but I do know that the work in thinking, praying, fasting, and opening myself up to exploring other religious communities is part of the gift that I give Him now, in this season.
I feel angry, sad, and want things to go back to the way they were before November 5th when I had such hope that we, as a church, were making progress in showing love and inclusion of all marginalized individuals. This journey is scary and uncertain. But, in quiet moments, I also know that He smiles at me and my drum.
May we feel our Savior smile on us and our imperfect gifts during this holiday season and always.