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This week, Sandy Edwards shares a poem she included with her family's Christmas card.
Her poem serves as the story behind her family's holiday portrait – namely, the hats worn by two of her four children.
"The story behind the Edwards Family Photo
'Twas one day in October, all was quiet...no sound.
Not a child was stirring, none could be found.
When from the garage, there arose such a clatter,
Then, "Hide this from Mommy!" – Oh! I knew better!
I sprang to my feet and walked down the halls;
Hearing feet run and the shaking of walls.
Calmly I walked, seeking clues on my way,
And, THERE, on the table – THERE'S where it lay.
Chunks of hair all alone – there and here;
As I thought to myself, oh, no! oh, dear!
Coaching myself, "Stay calm – don't be mad."
What's the worst it could be? It could not be THAT bad.
Then into the doorway, my two youngest appeared.
My eyes widened, I grimaced, as I faced this new fear.
Their faces, part timid, yet, part full of cheer!
As I heard Ava say, "It was George's idear!!!"
They studied my face, and their faces fell;
While my sin nature thought silently, what the...
Hellllloooooo, my dear children! I heard what you said;
"This hair, by the way, is MISSING from your head!"
Their voices grew dim as they chattered along;
Until I heard "Mom, Can you tape mine back on?"
Oh, No! Family pictures! Just a few weeks away!
It was off to Great Clips – " is this going to be my day?"
Nice ladies indeed, they snipped and they tried;
To blend, shape and cut, to form a disguise.
Our luck was fading... I knew – "It's just fine!"
I'm resilient, I'll think of a plan in time!
All for one! One for all! And so, that was that.
The plan in place now was, Hat! Hat! Hat! Hat!
Then, out of the blue, HIS voice gentle and firm...
(I'd been ranting enough, now it was HIS turn).
So there, in the silence of my panicked mind;
I heard, "What's your worry? It's going to be fine.
Some of you, there can make such a fuss;
Over beauty and power,, prestige...WORTHLESS stuff.
Look here, my daughter, keep your eyes on ME;
If you can't focus standing, then fall on your knees.
On earth, you all try to hide human flaws.
But, in heaven, there's no need for camouflage.
It's real. It's safe. You have NOTHING to hide.
You come as you are, with ME by your side.
I want my children to come, ONE AND ALL.
Come Messy! Come Broken! Just, heed my call!
Come Thirsty! Come Angry! Come with chopped hair!
Come Taped-up! Come Honest, lay all things bare.
You're MY children, you see, and I DO love you all.
Be persistent. Seek ME, and on MY name call.
For what better gift, on MY own birthday,
Than for even one of my sheep – to find their way.
"Lord, I hear you, and now I'm passing this on.
As the years of not listening – are, thankfully, gone.
YOU, JESUS, I KNOW, are our ONLY way;
And I want YOU to have – the SWEETEST birthday."
Merry Christmas everyone! We pray our photo will make you smile and somehow remind you that, IN CHRIST, there is no need for camouflage.
In His Grip, Stephen, Sandy, Parker, Caden, George & Ava."
Have a Christmas photo (and the story behind it!) you'd like to share with The Era? Send to firstname.lastname@example.org.