“But I am oh, so very small,” We heard our daughter pray;
“And God, You must be very tall
And very far away.
Too busy, I would think, to be
Concerned about a child like me.
I do not understand this day
But, Happy Birthday, anyway.”
I saw the sun bow down at dusk
And give the west a kiss;
I never shall forget the blush
That filled the sky with bliss.
Sometimes, I think eternity
Bows down to make a memory;
And this was such a moment rare
To see our little girl in prayer.
Is this the girl that trimmed our tree;
Our happy girl of five;
That bubbled with expectancy
For this day to arrive?
Then, why so pensive? Why so blue?
What, child, is going on in you?
What, in your heart brought on this change?
We heard her prayer. We thought it strange!
She must have sensed us standing there,
“Please tuck me in,” she said,
Then grabbed her little teddy bear
And scrambled into bed.
She pulled the covers to her chin;
She gave us both a painful grin,
“Please Mommy…Daddy…please don’t leave!
I’m very sad this Christmas eve.”
Her mother brushed aside her tear,
And gently stroked her hair;
“Oh, Cathy darling, tell us dear…”
And I pulled up a chair.
“This night should be a night of joy
For every single girl and boy.”
I smiled, some sympathy to show—
“It’s Jesus’ birthday, don’t you know?”
The words she spoke, though they were few
We tried to comprehend—
“If I were big like both of you,
Then I could be His friend!”
She said, “I’d make His birthday fun!
We’d have a party; play and run;
I’d bake a cake and make Him glad.
He’s far away! That’s why I’m sad!”
Her words could make, the way she spoke,
A man of marble melt!
But this, we knew, was not a joke—
The way our baby felt!
Behind the words so cute and pure,
She reasoned God was not for her—
Her heart was troubled.
This we knew,
A hug and kiss would never do!
“I feel so small and very poor,
And empty deep inside;
I never felt this way before,
I’m scared! I want to hide!
You told me just the other day
He’d hear my voice if I would pray.”
And then she turned, “God is so great!
I’m only five; I’ll have to wait!”
“Why, small is perfect,” I began,
“When Jesus first came down—
Where did the Lord become a child?
It was a little town!
His size you shouldn’t fear at all;
He’s great enough to love the small!
To show the small how He loved them
The Savior came to Bethlehem!
His mother was too poor for words,
No lamb could she afford;
His foster father brought two birds
To satisfy the Lord!
He chose who would His parents be;
He chose them both from poverty!
As small is good, so poor is too;
He came to them—He’ll come to you!”
Her mother seemed to understand
And share in her distress;
She asked, while reaching for her hand,
About her emptiness.
“When I am in a hungry mood. . .
The way my stomach asks for food,”
She said, and with a look so sweet,
“I think my heart must want to eat!”
“Oh, Cathy dear! You have your wish!
Remember Jesus’ bed?
The manger was the supper dish
Where animals were fed!
And, where were hungry wise men led?
To Bethlehem! The house of bread!
The hungry heart is why He came!
And BREAD OF LIFE is Jesus’ name!”
The ignorance we often show;
The bad things that we do—”
I told her, “grown-ups also know;
We feel that darkness too!
The way He came that Christmas Eve
Will give us courage to believe.
He came to bring the world His light;
I think that’s why He came at night!
The shepherds trembled at the sight
Of angels God had made.
Some women too, were filled with fright,
And very much afraid!
When God Himself was drawing near
No one at all had any fear!
And even though He is a King,
What baby is a scary thing?
He came to Bethlehem to show
The small, His tenderness;
To Mary, Joseph, so we’d know
The poor He came to bless;
The manger shows He came to feed
And meet the hungry in their need;
He came at night to dry our tears;
And as a babe to calm our fears.
SHE SMILED! We never shall forget,
Her countenance so fair!
“I’ll make this Your best Christmas yet,”
She said to Him in prayer.
“I’m only five, but now I see
You really want to come to me!
My hungry heart I give to You!
I pray this birthday gift will do!”