There is this lovely Christmas song about an orphan girl named, Maria, who finds a bird with a broken wing, it’s called, “The Gift.”
Maria uses the little money she has to care for the damaged bird, and then on Christmas Eve, she brings the bird as her offering to the Christ child’s manger at her church. But she sneaks in so no one can see her pitiful offering, “for her gift was unworthy of Him,” according to the song’s lyrics.
But the Lord accepts her gift like none other, and as a result, Maria is treated to “the very first Nightingale’s song.”
The song makes me weep every time I hear it. For how often do we give a gift that is either denied, or is badly accepted? Like our love?
The song has been whispering about in my head for days, and I wanted to shoot an image that would portray its poignancy.
I asked my 11-year old granddaughter if she would help me capture the spirit of Maria. She loves drama, so she played along.
We lit a fire, set up some lights, and put my Canon 50D up on my tripod. She pulled on an April Cornell petticoat and dress, and we tied a headscarf around her hair.
All we had for a bird was this creamy dove ornament, so it had to do. But with the bird in her hands, she couldn’t hold the deflector to glance light into her face, so we hollered for her younger brother; he’s 8.
“Do you want to be our lighting assistant?” we asked. He studied the situation for a moment, grabbed the deflector, and in spite of the heat from the fire, he went straight to work. He even became somewhat of a pro, as he watched for and eliminated shadows. He is now very proud to call himself a lighting assistant.
And my granddaughter, the love of my life (well one of them) is so pleased with this image. You should have seen her smile.
I dedicate this image of my heart to my grandkids and to grandkids the world over, especially those who have never been allowed to spend time with their grandparents.
Unfortunately, there are many situations like that, and how sad it is for both grandchild and grandparent to be denied the joy of togetherness; a togetherness that only a grandchild and grandparent can know. Some refer to it as the “living death.”
I thank the Lord every day for the time I get to spend with at least some of my wonderful grandchildren.
To me, they are as precious as the bird Maria offered to the Lord.
“For her gift was unworthy of Him.”
Wishing all of you a very peaceful Christmas. May you know the joy of giving and receiving, acceptance and of love.
May you experience the joy of little Maria as you offer your gift, no matter how humble, to the Lord.