One thing we’ve done a lot of this season is read Christmas books by the glow of the tree lights. Sunday night, Jackson and I were snuggled on his bed, warm under the flannel sheets, with a stack of books beside us. Each one was about the true meaning of Christmas.
One of the areas I often feel like I’m failing in as a special needs parent is teaching my son about Jesus. I had these dreams of Jackson attending AWANAS and Vacation Bible School. I thought we’d have daily devotions together. And although we have a church that has an amazing special needs program, going to church isn’t always easy. Some Sundays you just want to stay home after a long week of therapy appointments, school drama and meltdowns.
Sunday night I received the best Christmas gift.
A little nudge from God – a holy moment – a reminder that my son must see Jesus in me.
It was a moment that brought my heart back to the true meaning of Christmas.
As Jackson and I read the books, he kept saying, Baby Jesus. I would stop and share with him that yes, Christmas is about Baby Jesus. Christmas is Baby Jesus’ birthday. I’d turn the page and continue reading. A few moments later I looked over to find my son on his knees. His eyes were closed and his hands were clasped.
Buddy, should we say a prayer? I asked.
I closed the book and clasped my hands. I closed my eyes and prayed a simple prayer.
Lord, thank you for Baby Jesus. Thank you for Christmas. Amen.
Buddy, do you want to pray? I asked.
I took his hand and closed my eyes. I listened as a bunch of gibberish (all of which I’m sure God understood) fell from his lips. I was able to understood the words Baby Jesus and Amen.
He said his prayer, gave me a high five and snuggled next to me. Then we finished reading our Christmas books.
In that moment I felt like Mary.
But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. (Luke 2:19)
Maybe I’m not failing him.
Maybe it’s not about sitting down to do devotionals and sending him to Vacation Bible School.
Maybe it’s about the times he hears me praying. Maybe it’s about the times he sees me with my Bible open.
Maybe it’s about all the times he sees me loving him with all I have.
Maybe it’s the times I get on my knees, look him in the eyes and tell him I’m sorry.
Maybe I make it too complicated.
Because really, it’s so very simple.
The miracle of Christmas started with a tiny baby born in Bethlehem.