Welcome to Big Old Goofy World . . . a place where I can share my thoughts, hopes, and dreams about this rock that we live on and call home.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Pa Rum Pum Pum Pum

The original ornament was lost long ago . . . somewhere in a move from here to there . . . only to be replaced with another that was close, but not quite the same.  But, that’s okay.  Though that original ornament was a gift, the actual gift went beyond the actual ornament to something deeper, something more holy.  Because of what it represents and means to me it is an ornament that must adorn the Christmas tree each year no matter where that tree may be . . . and, it has.

It was a simple ornament . . . carved of thin wood . . . a little drummer boy.  It was a gift given to me at a Christmas party for the youth group at the church I was attending.  We had moved for the third time in less than four months . . . from Nebraska to Panama to the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C.  My father was stationed in Panama, we were in Maryland.  Times we tough and it was the first Christmas without him.  It would be years later before I learned how tenuous my parents’ relationship was at that time.  It was a scary, lonely time . . .

. . . so my mother shoved me out the door to the church down from the apartment house where we lived.  There I walked into a strange church with my Bible—a Bible that the minister who is still there likes to say was the size of the state of Nebraska even though it was just a typical Lilving Bible, knowing no one . . . by myself . . . and I was welcomed.  I was welcomed by the minister and his wife, by the kids who came from several different high schools in the area, and, welcomed by the congregation.  They took me under their wings . . . cared for me. 
That first Christmas in that church, a few months after we had moved to Maryland, the pastor and his wife had a Christmas party for the youth group at their home.  After several silly games, a short devotional, and the munching of snacks they gave to each of us a small gift.  We each received an ornament, mind was a little drummer boy.

Maybe you know the song The Little Drummer Boy.  A little boy—poor by birth, gets caught up on the happenings around him.  There is a rumor of a “king” having been born.  People are rushing to give this “king” gifts fitting of royalty.  A couple of wise guys show up with expensive gifts.  What is a poor, little boy to give to a king . . . a poor, little boy who has nothing . . . nothing but an old beat up drum that he plays to pass the boredom and loneliness away?  Well, you give what you’ve got . . . so, the poor, little drummer boy offers the child the only thing that he has—a song:

Come they told me, pa rum pum pum pum
A new born King to see, pa rum pum pum pum
Our finest gifts we bring, pa rum pum pum pum
To lay before the King, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

So to honor Him, pa rum pum pum pum,
When we come.

Little Baby, pa rum pum pum pum
I am a poor boy too, pa rum pum pum pum
I have no gift to bring, pa rum pum pum pum
That's fit to give the King, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

Shall I play for you, pa rum pum pum pum,
On my drum?

Mary nodded, pa rum pum pum pum
The ox and lamb kept time, pa rum pum pum pum
I played my drum for Him, pa rum pum pum pum
I played my best for Him, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

Then He smiled at me, pa rum pum pum pum
Me and my drum.

The year was 1975.  In the gift of a simple ornament . . . in the gift of a simple song/story . . . I found a deep satisfaction that I was home . . . that I was wanted . . . loved.  That little ornament has always held a special place on each and every Christmas tree in my life since that party.  All I was, all that I had to give, was welcomed and embraced on that evening as we had gathered.  In the years since that minister and his wife, the church they serve, and the people who have graced its sanctuary have always been a part of my heart and journey of faith.  In that church I was ordained under the loving and graceful care of those people.  In what they gave me, they challenged me to go forth and do likewise.  I have done my best to live up to their hopes and dreams . . . I welcome those who need to be loved and accepted wherever I have gone.  Pa rum pump um pum.

It was two years later that this epiphany of faith came to me . . . and, in all places while I was sitting in front of a television watching old man Bing Crosby’s Christmas special.  Though today it would be considered to be a pretty hokey skit, it blew the doors wide open on my heart.  Tears filled my eyes . . . sort of melancholy, but mostly of deep joy . . . Ol’ Man Bing sang a duet with glam rocker David Bowie.  It is probably one of my favorite versions of Little Drummer Boy as the two of them weave the song with another song—Peace on Earth.  It sent shivers up my spine . . . the Spirit works in wondrous and mysterious ways as it touches our souls. 

Giving all I had . . . I was accepted, wanted, and loved.  I was home.  Home is where I know peace . . . and, that is what Jesus promises.  This song weaves the themes together wonderfully.  It was a simple ornament.  Who knew that it would change someone’s life forever?  Yeah, the ornament will be on the tree each and every year, and those who shared it will always be in my heart.  May you find such blessing in your life.

And they told me pa-ram-pam-pam-pam
A new-born king to see pa-ram-pam-pam-pam
Our finest gifts we bring pa-ram-pam-pam-pam
Ra-pam-pam-pam, ra-pam-pam-pam

Peace on Earth, can it be
Years from now, perhaps we'll see
See the day of glory
See the day, when men of good will
Live in peace, live in peace again

Peace on Earth, can it be

Every child must be made aware
Every child must be made to care
Care enough for his fellow man
To give all the love that he can

I pray my wish will come true
For my child and your child too
He'll see the day of glory
See the day when men of good will
Live in peace, live in peace again

Peace on Earth, can it be
Can it be

No comments: